June 21st, 2010
08:22 AM ET

Heads should roll for France farce

The time bomb had been ticking… it was just a matter of time before it exploded.

Unfortunately for French football fans, the explosion occurred during the World Cup, the biggest stage of all, and as a result the revolution has been televised.

As you probably know by now, on Sunday, France’s players refused to train in protest at the French Football Federation’s (FFF) decision to expel Nicolas Anelka without consulting them. Although I was surprised at the way the players decided to revolt, I was not surprised at all that there was a mutiny in the camp.

Let’s examine the sequence of events that has occurred since Euro 2008. Back then, France were knocked out in the group phase. Les Bleus were a fiasco, drawing with Romania and losing to both Holland (4-1) and Italy (2-0).

Following the final match, most people expected coach Raymond Domenech to resign. He didn’t. Instead, he took the opportunity to announce he was marrying his long-time girlfriend, and put France’s elimination in perspective, philosophizing about the meaning of life.

I don’t have to be the one to tell you that it was a bad move. After a poor campaign and reports of unrest in the squad, his peculiar performance at the final post-match press conference was the last straw. Most players lost their respect for him right there and then.

At that point, speculation intensified regarding Domenech’s future, and odds were that the FFF was going to sack him. It didn’t. Another mistake. At that moment, the national ruling body also lost the respect of its players.

So now, let’s fast-forward two years. Consider France’s poor qualifying campaign for the World Cup, their controversial playoff with Ireland, and the strange decision by Domenech and the Federation to leave out players such as Samir Nasri, Philippe Mexes and Karim Benzema from the final squad.

If that weren’t enough, shortly after arriving in South Africa, he dropped captain Thierry Henry to the bench and treated Anelka like a rookie. Something had to give…

So what now for France? First of all, Domenech should resign. Immediately. As should the FFF president and his staff. The fact they allowed this situation to have reached this breaking point is unacceptable.

Last but not least, the French players should apologize for their actions. Whether or not they believe they are right, they disrespected the name of their country and their fans.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. yusuf

    i dont think that any heads should role rather get the french to unban the veil so that the french players can cover those shameful faces.you only get what you deserve.

    June 21, 2010 at 9:13 am | Reply
  2. FrenchGirl

    In France, we're all ashamed about that.

    Shame on the coach, but moreover shame on the players: they are such a lame example for thousands of kids who dream of them...

    A pity, everyone talks about that, and most of all everyone wonder why these whimsy guys get so much money for so poor results... We have a show-off President, now we do the same with our useless sportsmen. A new Revolution maybe?

    June 21, 2010 at 11:05 am | Reply
  3. Pascal A. Bourgeois

    This article gets everything right except the last line. I am a French fan and i'm not naive enough to think the French football team owes me an apology. The FFF and Domenech owe the plaers and fans an apology (Zidane even recognized this on numerous times,c riticizing the decisionto keep him in as coach). Players and fans alike all wanted Domenech gone but the FFF ignored us. Thus, the French players are to be applauded for boycotting Domenech's practice: in France, one is taught to take a stand in the face of injustice, and as far as football goes, keeping Domenech in after he kicked Nasri, Benzema, Mexes and Henry to the curb like that was unacceptable. This is a team doing what teams are supposed to, sticiking out for their players. For me, it exemplifies French values. Zidane should coach the last game.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:15 am | Reply
  4. Julie

    That's why, even if I'm french, I'm not support them. And I'm not the only one. We have no hopes to win again, with that electric ambiance inside the federation.
    So, please, French team, go toward elimination, so we don't be ashame of you!

    June 21, 2010 at 11:28 am | Reply
  5. Foosball

    The team might have a point if they actually accomplished ANYTHING of worth on the pitch.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:30 am | Reply
  6. Amanuel Babu

    The so called COACH is problem maker! I havent seen a coach likew this.He has no ability to control his own players!So do you think that He's a COACH?

    June 21, 2010 at 11:35 am | Reply
  7. AL

    We are so ashamed in France !!!

    June 21, 2010 at 11:38 am | Reply
  8. j-dub

    First off, Domenech should have addressed this issue with the players FIRST and he should have allowed the players to decide Anelka's fate. He did not do so. This team was run by Zidane in the last WC and Domenech knows NOTHING. He is an idiot and the players know it. You have to put yourself in the shoes of the players. They hate the Trainer and his ignorance, they hate the way he handles himself, and his selection of players in this WC have shown that he selected some players that were not worthy. His decisions on formations have also hurt the team, as seen against Mexico. The performance of the team in Euro 2008 also showed that Domenech's ignorance led to an early exit by losing to Italy 2-0 and Netherlands 4-1. Don't blame the team...blame the Federation for allowing this imbecile to continue to be the Coach when he has shown that he is potentially USELESS as a coach. To be quite honest, in watching video of the entire ordeal, Evra kept his cool while the Fitness Trainer lost control. That means that Evra was right...he was the 'informer' who was leaking information to the press. His actions should not go unpunished...throwing his badge to me just seems childish. Domenech and the French Football Federation should also be punished by treating its team with the highest disrespect in sports. Since when should a player be punished by being kicked off the team by speaking the truth?? Domenech is a IDIOT and what Anelka told him is correct, even if it was disrespectful.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:47 am | Reply
  9. Jean-Francois Regnauld

    I'm french and I totally agree with Pedro Pinto's analysis of the situation. I'd just like to add that, although Domenech and the FFF has a great deal of responsibility on this issue, some of the players, like Nicolas Anelka are nothing more than street kid gangs with an attitude and loaded with money. His outburst was absolutely unacceptable and a total disgrace. I consider is sacking fully justified.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  10. toddsaed

    Dr Guillotine was guillotined on his
    own guillotine, modern political thought
    began in France, Domenech is just
    following suit, but more is needed
    to trump history, the Last Poets
    penned the line" the revolution will not
    be televised", long ago, good memory,
    guess it came and went, Domenech,
    and Danton with the enormous head,
    the French revolution leader also was
    decapitated, the ultimate sybarite,
    seems a match.

    June 21, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  11. steven shkuku

    there is no shame in fighting for what is right and if the French nation feels that the players have not done them proud, then they should forget any lessons learnt during the french revolution. I believe the FFF has had a lot to do with the current state of affairs and the President should resign because they have been flirting with disaster all along. Otherwise I commend the players for showing support and let such management be washed away. It is something the Liverpool players should have done during the fracas of last season.

    June 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  12. PN

    for those talking about the unbanning of the veil, one question can a girl go to Saudi Arabia and walk down a street wearing a mini skirt without getting in Jail ?

    June 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  13. miriam mburu

    The french got what they deserved.... The football they are playing is a disgrace and am utterly disappointed. As for the players-shame on them. This is the world cup. Country should come first always!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  14. Anthony F McCormick

    Totally disagree. Thoroughly disgusted to see any spin that justifies the conduct of these players. They are spoiled rotten and devoid of honor and loyalty. I see you have never led men Pedro. Responding to a great honor to represent "their country" (and I mean that loosely with this bunch) by shaming that great country publicly. Unspeakable. What is that man's name? Jean-Marie Le Pen...

    June 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  15. lepetitfrancais

    As a french leaving in Japan, I found it very difficult to explain what is happening to my team. All my colleagues are asking:" What is wrong with France ? People are going on strike even with your national team??"
    All this is ridiculous and very embarrassing...
    First, I think the french should not be in South Africa, the way we won the game against Irelandd was pathetic and I hoped for long time that we will ask to replay tthat game to regain our honor but nothing happened. ...
    Nobody like the coach and he should have been replaced a long time ago after the desastrous Euro 2008.
    So now what ? Franch will crash out and hopefully we will rebuild a team with pride and honor and regain our identity.
    Vive La France !!

    June 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  16. Ken

    I totally agree with all of it. And especially the last point that the players should apologise. Quite simply, no respect for authority leads to chaos leads to France going out of the cup early.

    Cutting off your nose to spite your face is never a good move.

    June 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  17. Rich

    Yelling and screaming and cursing the coach *should get you fired! Anelka is just a prima donna.

    June 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  18. Beau

    While it's all unfortunate to explode the way it has, it has added such wonderful drama to the World Cup. This and the bad US call make it all so interesting to watch.

    The French will rebound one day, but they were never a threat for 2010. The Irish will be laughing their heads off, I'm sure.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  19. Ryan

    I agree with the team.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  20. sean harton

    That which goes around,comes around.France achieved qualification by unacceptable cheating.Now it´s their turn for turmoil.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  21. Kara

    I'm another French totally ashamed of these too much paid pathetic pretentious "players" who should not receive their €€€€€€€ from this World Cup. It's a shame that they are going to earn a lot of money just for doing nothing at all except showing a bad example.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  22. beaujam90

    France is finished.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  23. MIke

    Zidane should have been the coach and should be hired now before they lose him too. He was an example both on the pitch (ok he slammed the Italian, no one is perfect, by the way does anyone really know what happened/what was said?) and off. I have too much respect for the game and always look for an answer to the problem when it comes to football.

    By the way The Irish had the last laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  24. JCU

    I'll just be happy when this World Cup thing stops taking up valuable TV time.

    June 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  25. Richard

    How many people posting here, and supporting the players, expect a typical person to be able to treat their bosses in the same matter and still be working for the company the next morning?

    This is a football team. Not a democracy. The decisions of the coach are to be follwed, and his authority is to be respected.

    I think the FFF should close up shop. Forfeit game 3, and send the whole team back to France now. They are a disgrace to France and the sport.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  26. Martin

    This is not new about 20 years ago Ruud Gullit revolted against the power of the KNVB (Dutch Football association) saying that football should be for the players and supporters and not being controlled by the tie wearing officials, who as he said always get the best seats , but you don't hear them, this affair has even enriched the dutch language with the word Bobo (Bond Bons), it just take the guts of a man like Gullit or Anelka to shake it up and make football a game for players and supporters, the timing is very unfortunately for France , but this was allready going on in their qualification. The support of the french team for Anelka is very impressive considering the personal interests of the individual players.

    June 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  27. Setordzi from Ghana

    These Players should learn to respect their coach no matter what!

    June 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  28. Reynold Pereira

    This was a time-bomb waiting to explode and unfortunately for France, it exploded right in the heart of the World Cup.

    French football after the 1998 World Cup victory has sort of become a razzamatazz with soccer players becoming almost like reality tv stars. Their private lives have become soap opera fodder and the players seem to relish the limelight. But ultimately with all this attention, players get 'soft' and lose that hunger for success.

    Raymond Domenech just happens to be sharing this limelight together with the rest of the players. (remember his famous marriage proposal after Euro '08?). He should have been replaced after the disastrous Euro '08 debacle but I'm sure he's got friends in the FFF who kept him on!!.

    And the latest humiliating 'in front of TV' scenes like the showdown between Patrice Evra and the fitness coach and the team's decision to boycott the training session in front of their own fans, well, it has really sunk quite low.

    I sincerely for that for the good of French football, drastic changes should be made within the FFF. Players should be drilled to understand the real meaning of honour for playing for your country. And this for the benefit of the French youth who aspire to wear the blue jersey of France in the near future..

    June 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  29. kinki

    I am not french, but i have always really enjoyed not only french national football but the french club teams. There is a lot of good leadership and a fan base you cannot find in another part of the world.

    I am a little put off, however, but the attitudes of some of the younger players. Should they sack the coach, sure, but it wont solve a custom of disrespect. I think some of the younger players are still hurting from the final with Italy and their attitudes are being effected as well. They unfortunately lack confidence on the pitch and feel that walking out is really the only option left. I wish france luck in their final group match.

    June 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  30. Frantz

    Why should the players apologize when leaders don't lead? This was a cause-and-effect situation. One seems to forget what the meaning of the word/verb COACH means and also the word PRESIDENT.
    Domenech represents accurately french culture: arrogant and armed with a delusion of grandeur. Zidane spoke it plainly: "Domenech is not a coach", and people commented that he was to harsh...

    June 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  31. watanabe

    We all read what's presented to us and make our deductions from this. Let's remember that the media can create and vilify at will hence swaying the thoughts of the masses, emotional fans and those that love football. After all, it is a business for them and that's how they make a living even if they ruin someone's life, the story has to be sensational. That said, I think that the FFF is the prime contributor to the current waterfall effect of issues. We can all agree that Domenech lost the confidence of most French players and fans after Euro 2008 and should have been released thereafter. His history with Viera, Henry, Anelka, player selection process etc has left a bad taste in some quarters. Sometimes, a clean slate is needed sooner than later.
    As for the French players,understandably they have been pushed to a wall hence their reaction that does not sit well with everyone even though this is the first unanimous "team" decision from the French, they all agree that Anelka should stay despite his outburst. That speaks volumes. Pretty much, if your leadership is incompetent then it is very easy to make everyone look ugly. The world cup constitutes the best of the best and you need every ounce of skill, physical, mental and positive emotional highs to compete against the best so yeah, the French may have skilled and well payed individuals but no guaranteed success without team work and collective pull . They can start redeeming themselves by winning against SA even though I don't want that to happen :)

    June 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  32. AKINOLA MUIZ

    Too bad the french players are protesting against their country and it fans.It clearly shows lack of discipline & character...These players should be completely sanctioned for act of disloyalty...No matter the situation a player is not suppose to rebel against the authority publicly during competitions like world cup.Doing so is akin to a soldier challenging his commander during wartime.There are channels to express views in every organization.Who is Anelka..?

    June 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  33. Mark Muosieyiri

    Let the French rest. French fans should throw their weight in supporting the Ghana Black Stars to win the cup for Africa. Remember you will be doing Desailly some good, because he is also a Ghanaian.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  34. Poppy

    And to think that some of these players are paid 400,000 euros a MONTH! If I perform badly at work I am in deep trouble or fired. What a bunch of spoiled brats. During the last game the coach looked as if he was in a land far, far away...He should have been gone a long time ago and not it is the French people who look silly. I live in France and the French are notoriously bad under pressure. Who cares that the whole world is watching...

    June 21, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  35. sami

    anyhow, if the french are worrying about the fact that what our national team is doing in this world cup, we should be aware that the world has been mocking our team for a long time now. no one around the world has missed the fact that the french team is a team of players that dont know how to play as a team. unfortunately, this is the reputation of the french team, it has been so for a long time, even before 1998, when we won the world cup. So french people, welcome to the real world!!!

    June 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  36. hervé

    bonjours je suis de france .
    honte a cette equipe de france ils meritent pas de mettre ce maillot bleus
    cette farce qui nous ont fait .
    ils ont fort pour encaisser les cheques des sponsors .
    demain c'est le dernier match qu'ils perdent et qu'ils rentrent en france .

    June 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  37. Gurdip

    The first line sums up everything. For those here who are ashamed or are disappointed in the players – don't !

    Every player, I am sure, comes to the world stage knowing that there are many others out there who can only hope to be in their shoes; and they would also want to do their best for themselves, for the nation and for their fans world wide.

    With that perspectivem, it would take a lot to cause an explosion of emotions. Everyone has a limit and I think the limit was reached here. There were distant drums of discontent that no one paid heed to. Heads should roll – not of the players but of people much higher up. A mutiny, a riot or a mass uprising in any situation does not happen if there was not a widespread discontent and a sense of injustice or persecution.

    June 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  38. Adam

    I believe Domenech should have resigned after 2008, it is just that simple. If he did we would not be having this mess now.
    As for the veil, I don't agree that in France we are all ashamed about that.
    We are a secular country and if a person does not wish to live in a modern, secular nation, then they are very free to go to a place like Saudi Arabia, where (as another mentioned) they will go to jail (if they are lucky!) for wearing a skirt.
    And heaven forbid they should hold hands in public!

    Please remind me; is it 2010, or are we still living in the dark ages?

    June 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  39. Jean

    Going to war without France is like going hunting without an accordian.

    June 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  40. KRPO

    Problems in the French team shouldn't surprise any objective person who knows anything about France. It's a largely white French establishment dealing poorly with France's changing ethnicity and cultural values. Les Blues are mostly black and none went to any of France's elite schools. The still ruling "establishment" in France still don't get it.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  41. ICO

    ANELKA ANELKA ANELKA.
    That is the problem. That was his behavior before leaving Arsenal years ago and was eventually avoided for years by the big clubs after Real Madrid abandoned him on the bench. Chelsea then found courage, of course backed with a maverick Abramovich, to give him a chance. What is being revealed is the fact that the Leopard doesn't change its spots. There's not a lot of money in it for Anelka and he couldn't care less about Patriotism. Still the same old greedy, disrespectful and selfish man. I won't take Anelka to war even if he is the best marksman on earth!

    June 21, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  42. hervé

    One thing that does not appear in this article is the internal fights between opposite clans: Ribery, Gallas, Abidal on the muslim/Blacks side, pressuring Domenech to let out the Caucasians like Lloris, Gourcuff, Toulalan. How about this ! The politically correctness has avoided this reality for some time, but it is clear now that the strategy of the FFF to promote ethnic players to please the subburbs of french cities is showning the limits of the game. Incredibly too, Ribery lost some advertising contracts to Gourcuff whose image is much better that his. Gourcuff's father, a well respected coach in France, confirmed that Ribery's attitude was a real shame, as he was trying to prove that being good looking means being gay, a fact that HE rejects as a muslim. I personnally resent this attitude and believe such guys should be expelled from national teams. And a final note: the same gand REFUSE TO SING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM.... Surprising, isn't it ? These guys DO NOT consider France as their homeland.....

    June 21, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  43. Cho

    Why on earth should anyone reserve a time of protest. The players owe no one an apology. The French FFF and the entire bureaucracy responsible for putting the players to shame, their career is jeopardy and their integrity in question owe the players an apology. the players have a right to stand up any time in protest.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  44. Thibaud

    Shame on the French football team and Mr Domenech (I'm French) .

    The world cup failure is due mainly to the players (arrogant, childish, selfish) . When Mr Domenech announced the names of the 23 players: nobody in France could blame him for putting aside players such as Benzema, Benarfa or Nasri who would have aggravate the situation, because they are the symbol of the new generation in France: they are interested only in money and they nearly confess that they are more interested in playing for their native country than for France.
    The current situation is the result of a catastrophic preparation, a catastrophic coach and above all 20 deplorable players

    June 21, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  45. Taxi Driver

    Oh! They are French. Which one is? That is a lame excuse. Lousy coach. Lousy players. French mustards.

    June 21, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  46. watanabe

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    We all read what's presented to us and make our deductions from this. Let's remember that the media can create and vilify at will hence swaying the thoughts of the masses, emotional fans and those that love football. After all, it is a business for them and that's how they make a living even if they ruin someone's life, the story has to be sensational. That said, I think that the FFF is the prime contributor to the current waterfall effect of issues. We can all agree that Domenech lost the confidence of most French players and fans after Euro 2008 and should have been released thereafter. His history with Viera, Henry, Anelka, player selection process etc has left a bad taste in some quarters. Sometimes, a clean slate is needed sooner than later.
    As for the French players,understandably they have been pushed to a wall hence their reaction that does not sit well with everyone even though this is the first unanimous "team" decision from the French, they all agree that Anelka should stay despite his outburst. That speaks volumes. Pretty much, if your leadership is incompetent then it is very easy to make everyone look ugly. The world cup constitutes the best of the best and you need every ounce of skill, physical, mental and positive emotional highs to compete against the best so yeah, the French may have skilled and well payed individuals but no guaranteed success without team work and collective pull . They can start redeeming themselves by winning against SA even though I don't want that to happen :)

    June 21, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  47. harry

    Why did the players ever go to SA with a coach they had little or no faith in to begin with? Why did the players ever agree with the FFF choice for coach? Seems the players bought into the FFF/coach selection when they got on the plane to South Africa. Good old politics. They should just suck it up for one more game then never play for the coach/FFF again. Why get on the bus to start with if you think the driver is a nut case?

    June 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  48. HM

    I'm not from France but from the US. I've visited France several times though, I can say, I feel bad for the French people. They do not deserve this type of nonsensical behavior from these highly paid soccer stars. The coach and FFF might be to blame, but there is no excuse for the players to make a this into some publicity stunt. The French people I have met have always been helpful and nice.. the good thing is, this is just a game and this too will pass.

    June 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  49. Emeka

    Well think i agree with the last statement made by the reporter or writer. the players have it to apologies to the fans who had to travel far to witness their ranting... and most importantly are paying their tax to see that they are well care for by the Federation.
    Nevertheless, i think France is suffering for the sins of their past..'the dubious way they qualified for the world cup'...Ireland would be laughing some where.

    June 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  50. Yoothana Mumme

    As an American living in France and having German parents...I'm both surprised and not surprised by all that is going on within Les Bleus and the FFF in general. I fell in love with the French when they "represented" the country as multi-culti in 1998-2000. Even 2006. But of course being French means doing things with French flair, whether it is right or wrong. My wife is French and understandably is not happy with all this fiasco. That's why my favorite and first team has and always will be Germany (especially now...with it's version of the multi-culti). They train like a team, they play like a team, and they certainly know the chain of command on and off the pitch. As much as I would love to see the French somehow continue on, I think it may be best for Laurent Blanc to have "carte blanche" and get rid of everyone bar a few players that represent the true French values (Liberté, égalité, fraternité). And also, the FFF needs some changing too.

    June 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  51. Nana

    I think people are always to quick at judging...journalists have nothing else to do but covering news with big events and often distorted. Everyone must be blamed for what is happening to France in South Africa ( FIFA, the President, Domenech, the players...). We did not have to read Anelka's stuff ( even distorted ) in the news all over the world, not that I am excusing him for his bad temper and lack of respect to his coach, his fellows and Country. I have read so many bad things about the French,..Come on I am French am I to be compared with these players who apparently forgot to do what they were supposed to do, win the first games, I mean reward their fans etc...Don't tell me in other teams there are no clashes between players and coaches etc..Easy to blame the French because of Thierry Henry's hand or Zidane's last poor behaviour in 2006. All human beings make mistakes so stop Judging us !!! Are you better ????

    June 21, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  52. Augustine

    The French team was all motion and no movement. Too many big names with big heads without a hunger for success. They will surely lose against Bafana Bafana and return to Paris with the next flight on Wednesday. I am definite. That is no way to prosecute a world cup by "world class players".

    June 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  53. Skeptic

    A pathetic bunch of prima donas that should all be fired. France needs to start over with new players and new coaches. This is absolutely an embarrassment for the French that should never have happened, even though the French do have an attitude problem that is part of the culture and is shown for what it is in this situation, there is NO excuse for this to have happened. I would say, get over the attitude and do your damn job that you are overpaid to do.

    And by the way I am French but I am saddened to admit it.

    June 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  54. Indmuny

    What ever happened to sticking together as a team? The team was coached by a fool and all of the players knew it. That fool brought on the problems and their teammate took the fall. They were right to stand together against the idiot and should be applauded not vilified.

    June 21, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  55. mike

    Maybe they shou'd have let Ireland in after all...

    June 21, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  56. wyle

    Why on earth with one "fire" someone and then keep them on the job. Only a bunch of old men, thinking they are more important than the truly are, could make a suck a stupid decision as to keep a coach that has lost the respect of the team and its own federation. He should have been let go two years ago! Blame the old men not the players

    June 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  57. Geo

    Here in the UK Anelka is known as the Le Sulk?, Henry is also classed in the same mould. Overrated and passed it but still living in their own world of self delusion.
    We have also seen similar traits within the England team, a John Terry a arrogant self appointed leader, who lost his captaincy due to cheating on his teammate and his own wife?
    Is there a common factor in this arrogance been displayed by so called professional sports men, consider this Anelka and Terry both from Chelsea, Henry from Arsenal under the mentoring of the most short sighted and arrogant managers in the UK, a Mr Wenger.
    I suggest that the whole of the French team be sent home and all the players banned from international football. Perhaps Mr Platina? sorts out the FFA and stop telling everybody else how to run their FA.
    Yes I am glad that the Irish are laughing at you, as they say what goes round comes around, you should not even be at the World Cup as again you showed your true colours as cheats and hypocrites with all this talk of the revolution and what it means to the French, I think it has been somewhat diluted and misinterpreted by some of your brothers from overseas.

    June 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  58. Breizh

    I agree with Pascal Bourgeois. No coach can be more important than the team as a whole. No one player can be more important than the team. After all, this is not tennis. In this game you win or lose with the players you have chosen to be on the field. In order to be treated with respect as a coach, you must treat your players with respect as well.

    Domenech has demonstrated time and again that he believes himself to be more important than the welfare of the team, the French football public and most unfortunately, France itself. Of all places to demonstrate this arrogance, he chooses the World Cup. How is it possible for France to go from winning the World Cup in 1998 and finishing as runners up in 2006 to not qualifying for the second round in 2010?

    C'est pas la vie ca. C'est la folie.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:15 am | Reply
  59. Jim

    Well it is true that there is some justice in this after the way the French arrived at their current predicament (via the hand of Henry). That said, not even a proud, wounded Irishman would justify the disprespect that has been shown by these players towards their country. They are not in SA to represent either themselves or Domenech, rather they were given the very rare privilege of representing a great nation on the world stage. Their actions are also a huge slap in the face to the proud, hardworking organizers and leaders of South Africa, not to mention the millions of the poverty stricken population in that part of the world. Everyone seems to have lost perspective here...what a shame.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:37 am | Reply
  60. arjayi2

    Why this happen to reached this stage is rather surprising. This didn't developed only in South Africa but rather before. How the French allowed this is not the way I thought about French/France.
    You can't coach what you can't control. That's basic.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:44 am | Reply
  61. marcos from Brazil

    Although I am not French and I don't support the French national team I must say that its an embarrassing situation for them and I do hope that they can fix their football and gives a show like they used to give before. Its sad for a football fan see a team like France in a situation like this.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:22 am | Reply
  62. Lae'

    shame on the coach. Should have quit or sacked after euro failure. For the players, right thing to do to get the message across. Too bad for France and supporters. Very very disappointed.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:37 am | Reply
  63. USAbetterthanFrance

    What an absolute shame!!!! These players have no love and respect for a country which provided them life and luxury.

    American Players in any sport will never disrespect their country. You can take it to the bank. Our soccer players make 1/100th and we will show you soon.

    France is a declining soccer power...will never win anything for next 100 years.

    June 22, 2010 at 1:38 am | Reply
  64. Jean Pierre

    I agree on the Pinto's comments, except the fact that the players have to apologyze. I think the players complaints and reaction is a consequence of poor leadership. When a Coach knows nothing about leadership, this situations appear, so the FFF should have taken action and fire Domenech. His attitudes and behaviour are similar to another guy in trouble, Mr. Tony, The BP CEO, that goes for yachting in UK meanwhile the oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. In both cases, an old say dictates: "The fish stings by the head". What are doing today's Board of Directors ?
    Take action now and fire Domenech (and Tony).

    June 22, 2010 at 2:43 am | Reply
  65. Jason

    Domenech has lost his dressing room and lost it since the last World Cup in 2006. France pulled through immaculately in 2006 because of Zidane. Since then, it's pretty much been all downhill for the French. A horrendous Euro 2008, and only JUST scraping through to qualify for this World Cup.

    With a team that has youth and experience and so much potential, and so many years in-between tournaments to find the right structure and strategy, it only means the French team has been poorly managed. With a different coach, you would have seen a very different attitude. How could a team with Ribery, Henry, Malouda, Evra, Abidal, Diarra and previous Anelka be putting in such dismal performances??!! (not to mention those that didn't make the the team like Nasri and Benzema!)

    June 22, 2010 at 3:18 am | Reply
  66. Mutale

    How come these players do so well at club level? It is the coaching fool. The FFF should be disbanded. How do you sit a player like Henry on the bench? You field a player like Henry for psychological reasons besides the their skill and talent. Even when he is not playing well he will have an impact on the opposition; he will draw players to him and leave other players open. POOR COACHING AND MANAGEMENT. I hope the team makes it to the next round and win the whole thing. It would be the best story of the World Cup.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:00 am | Reply
  67. Rambling Mind

    Look, the players may or may not agree with the coach but in the end, he holds the responsibility for determining the squad and tactics. He has a job to do, much like the players. Allow him to do his job and when that fails, then hold him and/or the FFF responsible.

    All this shennanigans is doing is shifting blame for the failure to each other. Are the players blameless and/or have they played to the level as befits former champions? Absolutely not!

    The players haven't done their jobs and the authority of the coach has been undermined – which is not to say that the coach has blameless. Personally, I think both sets of parties were not mentally ready for the World Cup and as such, an early exit may not be a bad thing.

    June 22, 2010 at 7:44 am | Reply
  68. CELL

    THEY WILL COME SOON IN A BETTER FOAM..
    WAIT AND WATCH...

    June 22, 2010 at 8:30 am | Reply
  69. s

    Veils have absolutely nothing to do with this and shouldn't be mentioned.

    As an Irish person, I though we behaved like idiots after that handball incident, however that's over and done with. The behaviour of the French team is embarassing for France – but it's behaviour that was replicated by the Irish Team some years ago when Roy Keane walked out on our team in Saipan, so we can't exactly criticise. However I think the combination of a bad coach and a bunch of prima donna players is creating a horrible situation for a team that could have a lot of potential. I think at this stage most French people just want their team out, and following that, Domenech out.

    June 22, 2010 at 9:08 am | Reply
  70. guest 345

    The European players are all the same, overpaid and overated!!!! Anyone who earns £100 000 per week for kicking a ball around for 90 mins should be ashamed of themselves!!!!!

    June 22, 2010 at 9:16 am | Reply
  71. Roman from Austin, TX

    The French soccer players are acting like a bunch of "bebes". Whether they like the coach or not, he IS the coach. His decision to expel the player who cursed at him was correct. It's not like they had good results in any case. I'll be honest, I don't usually watch soccer. But even I am embarrassed at the antics of the French players. The French citizens deserve the best from their team. They are not getting it. If there is any justice in the world, both the French coach and players ought to be terminated from the team. Incroyable!

    June 22, 2010 at 10:00 am | Reply
  72. Martijn

    The French Players have too big ego's.
    And of course Domenech can't get control of them.
    What about the strike of the players. They should be thankful to everything and everybody that they have the opportunity to even be there!

    So chin up, put your ego aside and play for your country and your supporters.

    By the way, note to the author: it's The Netherlands, not Holland.

    June 22, 2010 at 10:49 am | Reply
  73. Maxin475

    I agree 100% with the author of the article . This has been an open wound in French Football that was allowed to fester to the point that now it is a full blown infection. The French Federation is fully responsible for it.
    The players overreacted but I guess they couldn't put up with it any longer. From day one when Domenech got the job i said that he was not the right choice. He is not a Leader. He was a mediocre player (defender) and one of the most red carded player in the history of the French" Ligue" .

    June 22, 2010 at 10:56 am | Reply
  74. Susie

    No matter how unprofessional and crap their coach is, the French team, have no excuse for their humiliating actions. Going on strike? All of France is always on strike...Air France, SNCF (trains, trams and buses), nurses, teachers...the list goes on. It's OK if they want to strike in France, but it is unacceptable that they strike in the World Cup. So many other countries would have liked to be there, but didn't qualify partly because Thierry Henry won by touching the ball. It's ridiculous and Fifa should expel them.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:32 am | Reply
  75. Michael

    Dont worry...............the next Nationaltrainer are coming !!!!!!!!!!

    But its a shame what the french team are doing...........to critisize anybody its okay,but not like this.With a wrong goal against Irland it also a shame......so by by Equipe Triccolor ...........they came better times for france !!

    Michael

    June 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  76. Paulson LETSHOLO

    Disappointing events indeed within the French team. I told a friend prior the world cup that, having Henry, Gallas, Anelka & Ribery in your team is a perfect recipe for disaster. All four are sellfish & egoccentric. They know this their last chance to participate in the worldcup and they spoiling everything for future generations. Dispeakable and extremely unfortunate. I wish & hope "the great man" Sepp Blatter renders severe punishment for these guys. I wouldn't mind even banning from all future events organised by FIFA. Even their respective clubs should terminate their contracts. Pedro Pinto, please furnish me Sepp Blatter's contact details. I want to share this with him.God bless Africa.

    June 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  77. Philip

    As an Irish man I feel worse now than I did that night in paris... Why bother cheating the irish out of our world cup place if they were going to be this pathetic anyway... Ireland might have had some tough games but our team would, at least, have done us proud.

    June 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  78. Derrick Appiah

    I'm really disappointed in the frenchs'.Raymond Dominic is a disgrace to the french.

    June 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  79. Dhiraj Sinha

    I am an indian and have many friends from France. Reason, I have worked with French organisation and French colleagues for the last 5 years. And, above all one of my close friends is a French. This automatically makes me the supporter of French team.

    I am disappointed by the performance of the Foot ball team, however I blame the french management rather then the players. My experience says that the French are control freak and at times racist. In todays world you cannot snub people coming from other race. I have also found that the French dont trust anyone except themselves. Its unfortunate, an

    June 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  80. don cheech

    what part of france is this team from? nobody looks french on this team!!

    June 22, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  81. oed-wrecks

    Come back to Earth, The French players have been divas for a long time. Don't forget about Zidane and how he disgraced himself and the team when he headbutted Materazzi.

    June 23, 2010 at 1:52 am | Reply
  82. arjayi2

    France should form a new "French National Team" as in French.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:02 am | Reply
  83. dennis heney

    What fools the mutineers were. They will regret it for the rest of their lives. But that's what leaders are for....to bring the best out people who choose to be fools. But France had no leaders, unfortunately. Everyone loses.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:03 am | Reply
  84. zizou

    The ego of the FFF was the problem here first and then the ego and stubbornness of a donkeys has seemed to have influenced Domenech I cannot believe he stayed in the team after all that in Euro 2008 and during the qualifiers of the world cup. Domenech now has the right go public about this and go on media and say what ever he wants while all the players all are ordered by the high officials to keep their mouths shut on the matter!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 5:17 am | Reply
  85. ridzwan

    I am all out for the Irish team! God work in a mysterious way.

    June 23, 2010 at 7:17 am | Reply
  86. MN

    To the disappointed French fans that agree with Pedro's report, forget about the French team (for now) and support Portugal, is that OK?
    Merci ;)

    June 23, 2010 at 8:09 am | Reply
  87. Renato Vieira

    Well, Patrick Vieira, who happens to have the same midle name as me, once said that Brazilian football was crumbling! Since then, France has been knocked-out two times in the group stage of the world cup 2002 and 2010, knocked-out of the group stage of the Euro 2008 not to mention the embarrassing way the qualified for this 2010 world cup! Well, Patrick, if Brazilian football was crumbling, what can I say about french football, then??? I can't really say it was a disappointment 'cause we all saw it coming!!! Embarrassing Le Bleus!!!!

    June 23, 2010 at 10:32 am | Reply
  88. soonjustice

    Lets fire the our French manager and lets also change the french president too.
    The 2 are the worst leaders french has ever had. Zionist Sarkozy is serving racist israel interest and not the France interest.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  89. Andrew

    I feel really sorry for the frenchpeople and the football fans because not only has the world cup brough shame to frence football BUT to the whole country itself!!!!

    I mean we're talking about a team that almost won it just 4 yrs ago and NOW the french national team is a laughing stock of the world!

    I think the French people needs to have a guilotine ready in the airport when the playes get home!!

    June 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  90. URDaddy

    France has a long history of surrendering.

    June 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  91. anakwatan

    It all started when Hendry scored using his hand robbing Ireland of rightful place in the world cup. Now the sins return to haunt France for the cheat.
    Blame Hendry not France and not the other players but finally all at fault.

    June 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  92. paul whelan

    what is henry going to say when he meets the president "hey I cheated to get us here" so you should place a lot of importance on what I say. The meltdown was always going to happen it started last world cup when zidane behaved so selfishly in the final; by the way how ever heard of anyone headbutting someone in the chest; what a goose then refused to apoligize ah gallic pride! Have a look at Anelka's career you don't get his nickname by being popular in the dressing room; what a spoiled overly wealthly brat what a waste of talent; Evra and the rest of this shameful team should not waste their breath apoligizing they should put their heads down and let their actions on the pitch atone for their sins in south africa

    June 24, 2010 at 2:37 am | Reply
  93. Frenchie

    Hi from Paris,

    Several things to say.
    .
    As you can imagine, french and football fans in France are very disapointed not only with the poor game of the team but with the bad image showing.
    .
    Actors :
    > Domenech is not a coach for us... this man is mad...
    > FFF (Football French Federation) was gulty in 2008 to don"t fire Domenech (Mr Escalettes and Mr Houllier are two of the main contributors to this decision)
    > Players ? In that team, several players are diva and some of them are "gangsters"... Not a surprise for us to see the level of the team. The strike was just ridiculous.
    .
    In 80's, Michel Platini was the french leader of that team.
    in 1998, 2000 and 2006, Zidane was a very good player (not a very good man)
    Since 2006, nobody in France can save the team... no leader, no very good player.
    .
    For Irish People... I know that memories and football (soccer) are not good friends. But remember the Ireland vs Geogia game few months ago... and remember the penaly (search in youtube funy penalty Ireland). Referees made mistakes not only for France... Yeah such a hand was also a shame but to solve this, why not used our energy, for asking "review" for such games (as in us football) ?
    And please remember thas France won in Ireland two weeks before.

    Regards

    Frenchie

    June 24, 2010 at 6:46 am | Reply
  94. Celine

    Toddsaed -I understand your point but Guillotine did not die from his own device. A Doctor named Guillotine did, but Joseph Guillotine died in Paris of natural causes. However, OFF with the French Players heads!!!

    June 24, 2010 at 7:05 am | Reply
  95. Anonymous

    Am not a French Supporter (though love the individual players) & have never been, but I can assure you Raymond Domenech is more than a disgrace, he is a disappointment to the French people.

    My non-support of French team is simple, they always have only a few born French people. The rest of the team being foreigners, mostly Africans. Why can't the Native French Man Play for the National team? Why take foreigners to make you proud? The team has always been good because of the Foreigners, now a typical French man Domenech has pushed them to the wall. A typical French Man lacks attitude.

    Don't blame the players, they are just humans & when pushed to the wall you have to react. Maybe they over reacted – yes, but you can forgive them. How can you explain Domenech refusing to shake the hand of Pareira, did the French players ask him to behave as such? His attitude is that of a "Bush Man".

    June 24, 2010 at 9:57 am | Reply
  96. jerry joseph

    I am sorry to say this,the Frech team is full of immigrants who should be grateful to be playing for their national team.When they first came to France they followed all prcedures to get elected in the team and at the end show their true colour of the country from where they orginated.It should be a lesson learned not only for France but also other European nations.
    Where are all the "REAL" French players???

    June 24, 2010 at 11:56 am | Reply
  97. Tom

    It's definitely a management problem. Sack them all.

    June 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  98. Dorian

    I do agree that there has to be some line drawn between players and management. When the delegation process is oblivious in all respects, then all affiliates must communicate effectively and thoroughly with each other. Making unilateral decisions are the exact cause of countries suffering from poor communications. You must at all times delegate and ensure duties and responsibilities of each individual is honored. There are no "side(s)" to organization and management of one team. It is a body which must work coherently for a common good. Should one person have the power to overshadow the entire structure of how things are done with little or no disregard for others, then that individual should be a body by him/herself and not apart of a body!
    Yes, the players may have made a display unfitting to the country and its supporters, but hence the reason that the process of delegation should of been honored and consultations were to have occur
    pre-world cup. Each and every action equals a reaction- natural Law!

    June 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  99. James Harrington

    The Irish are not having a "last laugh". At least I – as an Irishman – am not. The entire French squad is an utter disgrace and I actually feel sorry for Raymond Domenech being tasked with handling these divas.

    If it weren't for the Fixing International Football Federation, the world would never have been exposed to this sorry mess.

    What a joke.

    That said, I'm not sure why Domenech benched the best handballer in the world. Awfully perplexing.

    June 27, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  100. Randoms

    In my opinion, France needs to change it's attitudes towards adversity and ignorance, not just in sports.
    The world gets tired of complainers while most other countries try their best and don't look at striking as a solution.

    July 1, 2010 at 1:40 am | Reply
  101. tryecrot

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

    August 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply

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