Domenech get his comeuppance


Raymond Domenech cut a pathetic figure as French team coach in South Africa, humiliated by his players during the Mutiny of Knysna and then bringing his country into further disrepute with an act of gross discourtesy as France tumbled out of the World Cup. The players have been punished; now it’s his turn …

France also had a weekend off for internationals and probably wishes it hadn’t after yet again failing to score (in Friday’s 1-0 defeat by Belarus in Paris). But the big news is the dismissal of by the French Football Federation of Raymond Domenech for his part in  the scandal of Les Bleus in South Africa.

The letter of dismissal – Domenech remained on the payroll despite making way for Laurent Blanc as national team coach – is said to accuse him of gross misconduct.

Two of the three specific allegations are self-evidently true: the self-flagellatory exercise of reading out to the media his bratpack’s statement explaining their refusal to train, and his shabby failure to shake the hand of his South African counterpart Carlos Alberto Parreira after the final game of France’s unlovely World Cup campaign.

The third is that he failed to inform the FFF’s president Jean-Pierre Escalettes of the abuse he’d been subjected to by Niocolas Anelka at half time during the previous game against Mexico.

Despite the confident assertions made here by two contributors, there is no fourth charge: that Domenech did, on the other hand, inform the press of the row, triggering the events leading to Anelka’s exclusion.

I have said before that if he was responsible for the leak, that would have been reprehensible conduct. But it is also true that not a shred of evidence has been produced to support the suspicion that he did.

The two incontrovertible parts of the case against Domenech, reflecting conduct that has been sharply criticised here, are quite sufficient to warrant his dismissal. If the accusation of gross misconduct stands, he risks losing a payoff of up to €500,000.

As for France, the decline of a great footballing nation continues apace. Belarus are a team of modest talents but had little difficulty in keeping the French at bay before grabbing their own late winner. A tough second Euro 2012 qualifying game, away to Bosnia tomorrow, now awaits Laurent Blanc’s unimpressive squad.

“Under such circumstances we cannot say we are going to Bosnia to win,” Blanc has said. “After what happened on Friday, we need to remain humble.”

If the words humility and France go together uneasily, you nevertheless know what he means. In spite of Salut! Sunderland‘s quarrels with Blanc, we do hope the recovery starts soon.

Other French football news is thin save to note that our Ligue 1  of choice, Nice, led by the former Sunderland midfielder Eric Roy, are in dispute with Marseille over the transfer of Loïc Rémy. Medical checks have cleared Rémy to continue playing after initial examination had revealed the existence of a possible heart abnormality, but OM are withholding some of the estimated €15m fee.

Goes without saying that when the league programme resumes this weekend, we hope Roy leads his team to a thumping victory over Blanc’s old club, Bordeaux.

Colin Randall

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8 thoughts on “Domenech get his comeuppance”

  1. Comme vous voulez hombre so how about a bit on Rennes.
    How Gyan arrived there, where he played in the formation,strengths, weaknesses, why his familly didn’t live in France.
    On attend sin aliento

  2. Peter: you are not the first to express or hint at a feeling of weariness that I should sometimes stray from purely Sunderland matters. I did say at the start of the season, however, that I’d offer regular thoughts on French football and since I live part of the time in France, it would be odd if I didn’t.

    Salut! Sunderland is a site written by, and predominantly for, supporters of Sunderland AFC, but I am delighted if it occasionally has a broader look to it and draws in non-SAFC fans too.

  3. As one of the Terrible Two who believe Domenech was less sinned against than sinning, I offer this translation of “Dominique,” which was a runaway hit some years ago for The Singing Nun. Only the names have been changed to spotlight the guilty:

    Domenecher, necher, necher, over the land he plods
    And sings a little song
    Never asking for reward
    He just talks about the Lord
    He just talks about the Lord

    At a time when Johnny Lackland
    Over England was the King
    Domenech was in the backland
    Fighting sin like anything

    Now a heretic, one day
    Among the thorns forced him to crawl
    Domenech with just one prayer
    Made him hear the good Lord’s call

    Without horse or fancy wagon
    He crossed Europe up and down
    Poverty was his companion
    As he walked from town to town

    To bring back the straying liars
    And the lost sheep to the fold
    He brought forth the Preaching Friars
    Heaven’s soldier’s, brave and bold

    One day, in the budding Order
    There was nothing left to eat
    Suddenly two angels walked in
    With a loaf of bread and meat

    Domenech once, in his slumber
    Saw the Virgin’s coat unfurled
    Over Friars without number
    Preaching all around the world

    Grant us now, oh Domenech
    The grace of love and simple mirth
    That we all may help to quicken
    Godly life and truth on earth

  4. The French decline is a series of irresponsible attitude of officials. The fall from grace has been highlight as down to the petulant behaviour of the players and Anelka and Evra in particular. Working in a professional environment it is essential that errors are revealed and not ignored, the players who work for some of the best clubs and management structures in the world had spoken out in private at the ineptness of Domenech, he responed in an ostrich like way and did little. Surely the French officials were aware of this, on tour for eight weeks is stressful on relationships and everyone gets to know everyone elses business and any weakness will be revealed, it certainly was with England. The people at the top of French football need to sort out this mess in a non Bastille way, chopping off heads does not heal anything. the nature of the French lacks responsibility and looks for quick solutions that once taken can not be reversed, they are selfish and jealous and they know it but never responsible. They are currently sending the Romeneys back from whence they came, in what can only be described as illegal and inhumane but that doesn’t worry them, this action as the way the are responding to their fall from grace in football and their pathetic reaction is indefensible. All that need to happen for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing Edmunde Burke

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