One day after the French Football Federation sent Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka home for launching a verbal attack on coach Raymond Domenech at half-time of the game against Mexico, the French players refused to train.
A statement read to the media from the players said:
“All players without exception want to declare their opposition to FFF decision to exclude Nicolas Anelka. The statement added the players were angered the Anelka-Domenech row had become public and criticised the FFF, “which at no time tried to protect the squad”. However, the players vowed “to do everything individually and collectively so that France regains its honour [against South Africa] on Tuesday”.
As you can imagine the FFF were furious with the players decision not to train two days before the all-important final group game against South Africa. France team director Jean-Louis Valentin announced his resignation immediately after the abandoned training session saying:
“Ask the players, they do not want to involve themselves any more. It’s unacceptable. They don’t want to train. It’s a scandal for the French, it’s a scandal for the federation and the French team. It is a shame. As for me, it’s over. I’m leaving the federation. I’m sickened and disgusted. Under these conditions, I’ve decided to return to Paris and to resign.”
I cannot remember an implosion like this by an team before. Domenech is out of a job as soon as this World Cup is over, and that looks like being Tuesday.
Maybe the French implosion is karma. If is was not for the “Hand of Henry” France would not be playing in the World Cup. It would be Republic of Ireland. So maybe this is simply the football gods are getting their revenge!