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Date: 23 April 2019

  World - Soccer

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Turmoil in the French squad, good news for Bafana?

[Posted 21 Jun 2010]
Turmoil in the French squad, good news for Bafana?

Beezsports Reporter

The tensions which have been simmering in the French camp exploded into a circus on Sunday when the whole squad refused to train in protest over the decision to send home star striker Nicholas Anelka.

The Chelsea striker was sent home following a rant at the coach who chose to substitute him at half-time in the match against Mexico, which the French eventually lost 0-2. The substitution did not go down well with Anelka, prompting a rant from the striker. Its not clear what the player said exactly to coach Domenech. Even the coach himself was very coy at revealing what was said to him by the player which led to the decision to expel him from the squad.

"He did not react in the most suitable fashion. But it was just a guy sitting in his corner and muttering - that would not have mattered had it stayed there.What was important was that it made the front page of a newspaper, and that exposes the internal life of the squad", was the closest Domenech could come to revealing what Anelka did or said.

"I sorted out the problem internally, and as far as I was concerned it was done and dusted.I had another chat with him and left open the possibility for him to apologise,something which he did not want to do", commented further the 57-year old French mentor.

In protest to the expulsion of their colleague from camp, the French players refused to train on Sunday. Captain Patrice Evra appeared to be expressing the anger of his teammates in confrontation with fitness coach Robert Duverne moments before the scheduled public training session. Domenech had to wade in and seperate the two.Duverne did not take it kindly and stormed out of training ground in anger.

Things appeared to be falling apart for the French when the French Football Federation managing director Jean-Louis Valentin appeared to have resigned on the spot.

"I am disgusted, I am quitting my post," Valenti told French media.

"It's a scandal for the French, for the federation and the French team. They don't want to train. It's unacceptable. As for me, it's over. I'm leaving the federation. I'm sickened and disgusted ", the managing director fumed.

The players have issued a statement to the media in which they have explained the reason for their protest action. Part of their statement reads,

"With this statement, all the players in the France squad without exception want to declare their opposition to the decision taken by the French Football Federation to exclude Nicolas Anelka from the squad.

"It has made a decision (to send Anelka home) without consulting all the players, on the basis of the facts reported by the press.

"Accordingly, and to mark the opposition to those at the highest level of French football, all the players decided not to train today."

While this is certainly a sad development for the World Cup, there should be jubilation in the Bafana following these developments. Bafana need nothing shot of a victory with at least 3-clear goals to entertain any chances of progressing form Group A. This will also depend on the outcome of the other final Group A match between leaders Uruguay and seond placed team, Mexico.

Yet Bafana should be warned that the French are not prepared to surrender points easily to the host nation. They have promised represent their country with honour and dignity.

"We forget none of our duties.

"We will do everything individually and also in a collective spirit to ensure that France regains its honour with a positive performance on Tuesday", the French players declared in their statement following their training boycot on Sunday.


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