Cantona asks for presidential backing
Former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona is trying to gather enough support to enable him to run in this year's French presidential election, according to a newspaper report on Monday.
Cantona, who once called on people to empty their bank accounts in protest at the global financial crisis, has reportedly written to the mayors of France seeking their backing.
The 45-year-old Cantona, who is considered one of United's greatest ever players, needs the signatures of 500 elected officials before the end of next month to run.
Newspaper Liberation printed a copy of the letter Cantona sent to mayors around France on its website Monday. In it, Cantona pledges to fight against social inequality if given the chance to do so.
''I am an attentive citizen of our era, of the opportunities it offers to young people - (which are) too limited - of the injustices it generates - too many, too violent, too systematic,'' Cantona wrote in the letter.
''I am a committed citizen,'' he continued. ''This engagement obliges me to speak up, more seriously than usual, but also with a keen sense of my responsibility, at a time when our country is faced with difficult choices.''
Along with his undoubted football skills, the former France international gained notoriety throughout his career for his unorthodox football demeanor, outspoken comments and sometimes wild antics.
While playing for United, he once received a lengthy ban after launching a Kung-Fu style kick at Crystal Palace supporter in the stands, and insulted former France coach Henri Michel live on television after being dropped for a game.