Mon Dieu! France In Complete Disarray
Internal conflict within the French camp abounded this weekend after striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for abusing under-fire coach Raymond Domenech after he was substituted at half-time during Les Bleus dismal 2-0 loss to Mexico.
It emerged that Anelka was asked to leave the camp after refusing to apologise for his outburst.
A French Football Federation (FFF) statement called Anelka’s comments “totally unacceptable” and added that, FFF president Jean-Paul Escalettes “took the decision in total agreement with the coach and the official members of the delegation present to exclude Nicolas Anelka from the squad.”
In protest, and a show of relative unity, the players refused to train on Sunday, leading to captain Evra storming away from a public training session.
Captain Patrice Evra highlighted the players’ disaffection, claiming: “The problem with France is not Anelka,” and blaming a “traitor” within the team for leaking details of the outburst to the press.
BBC pundit, Mick McCarthy, who played under Domenech at Lyon and was Ireland manager when Roy Keane was sent home from the 2002 World Cup, said of Anelka’s dismissal:
“They could have waited a couple of days and then they could all have gone home together.”
Tags: Nicolas Anelka, Raymond Domenech, Patrice Evra, France, World Cup