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Florent Malouda's Enduring International Career Is Causing Controversy

Florent Malouda's Enduring International Career Is Causing Controversy
By Daniel Kelly Updated

Florent Malouda is causing havoc ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The tournament begins in New Jersey on Friday night with Canada playing French Guiana in Group A. It is the first time French Guiana will play in the tournament, having qualified through their third-placed finish in last month's Caribbean Cup.

Despite playing 80-times for France, including the 2006 World Cup Final, the 37-year-old Malouda was born in French Guiana. He made his debut for his homeland in the Caribbean Cup and has played three times for them.

Malouda, who last played for France in the Euro 2012 quarter-final against Spain, was included in the 23-man squad for the Gold Cup, but on the eve of the Canada match he was told by CONCACAF he is ineligible to play in the tournament.

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The Caribbean Cup is a non-FIFA sanctioned event, meaning he was free to play in Martinique despite his previous career with France.

As the Gold Cup falls under FIFA rules, the former Chelsea midfielder and current Delhi Dynamos star will not be allowed play in the tournament. Or will he?

According to Sports Illustrated, French Guiana coach Jair Karam said the Premier League and Champions League winner "is going to play" against the Canadians.

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We're the minnows here, but we will do everything we can to give ourselves a chance.

Malouda cannot be physically stopped from playing against Canada, but if he does play it will be an automatic forefit of the game. Maybe a 3-0 loss will look better in the record books than if French Guiana suffer heavy defeats like Tahiti did in the Confederations Cup in 2013.

With further games to come against Costa Rica and Honduras, it will be fascinating to see if Malouda will take to the field in any of the matches. If Jair Karam has his way, Malouda will.

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