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.

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Luke’s world: are the French just firing Blancs?


Luke Harvey believes the one-match ban on French players for their playground tantrum in South Africa is both ineffectual and, by punishing the (possibly) innocent, unfair. The truth remains confused: the French sports minister spoke of the bullies and the meek but players who have spoken publicly insist everyone was up for the strike with no good guy/bad guy split. Picking his way through a murky story, Luke finds it in his heart to wish Laurent Blanc well …

Laurent Blanc’s first move as manager of the French national team was a serious statement of intent. The entire 23-man squad who represented the country so poorly in South Africa would be dropped for the next match. That’s every single player, even the ones who didn’t get a chance to set foot on the pitch during the disastrous campaign …

Now it could be said that everyone was as bad as each other, that no one disembarked the coach to train on that dark day in French football history. Yet the claim could also be made that a player such as Mathieu Valbuena, young and barely capped, is highly unlikely to go against the status quo as Messrs Evra, Ribery, Henry and Cisse sat with sullen faces and folded arms in their childish protest at Nicolas Anelka’s dismissal from the national squad.

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Crime, punishment and les Bleus: Malouda does community service

OK, not everyone is as fascinated as Colin Randall by the continuing French football crisis. But with time to spare before the World Cup semis, it seems appropriate to dot the odd i and cross a t or two following the condemnation by Liliam Thuram of Patrice Evra …

So Thierry
Henry had his meeting with Sarko, and one of the dinosaurs of the French Football Federation, its 75-year-old president Jean-Pierre Escalettes, has fallen on his sword.

Meanwhile Liliam Thuram adopts the role of stern, onlooking head of (a more glorious) history, and Florent Malouda puts in some post-mutiny community service in Haiti.

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French farce: should Patrice Evra be banished from international football?

This clip shows why Patrice Evra, of Manchester United and France, is ranked among the best footballers in the world. There is also a case for saying the “and France” part of that description should now be considered a thing of history …

Here in France, the inquest continues at various levels, from grass roots to parliament, into the pathetic failure of the French squad to rise at any stage above a surly, snarling and professionally embarrassing presence at the 2010 World Cup.

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