Nicolas Anelka got a jump on his summer holidays ahead of his Frence teammates as France announced they had sent the Chelsea striker home from the World Cup following a dressing-room bust-up with French coach Raymond Domenech.
Anelka was asked to apologise by French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes and, upon refusing to do so, was asked to leave the squad.
“He will leave the Team France camp this evening,” said a statement posted on the FFF website on Saturday.
According to the French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Domenech criticized Anelka for his first-half performance against Mexico and Anelka did not take kindly to the criticism, launching into a profanity-laden tirade. As a result of this rant, Domenech immediately replaced Anelka, and the forward has not trained with the French team since the incident.
“Words spoken by Nicolas Anelka to the national coach, Raymond Domenech, are completely unacceptable to the FFF, French football and the values they defend,” read the FFF’s statement. After being informed on Friday evening of the serious incident during half-time of the France-Mexico match, federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes asked Nicolas Anelka in the presence of captain Patrice Evra to present an official apology to the French public and to express regret for his remarks to Raymond Domenech, the staff and 23 players from the France team. Upon refusal by the player to deliver a public apology, he [Escalettes] made the decision – in full agreement with the coach and members of the official delegation in Knysna – to exclude Nicolas Anelka from the group.”
The World Cup has been a disaster for France, who have yet to score a goal at this World Cup and with just one point from two matches they will be eliminated if Uruguay and Mexico draw with each other in the final group game on Tuesday.