World Cup: France players refuse to train in protest

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 20, 2010 20:04
1 minute read.

France's World Cup team refused to train Sunday in protest of striker Nicolas Anelka's expulsion from the squad, prompted by a profanity-laced tirade against coach Raymond Domenech the day before.

The latest round of turbulence also led to the resignation of France team director Jean-Louis Valentin, who said he was fed up with the team.

Tensions boiled over after the team arrived at training and got off the bus to greet about 200 fans who had gathered there. Domenech, whose tactics and management skills have been questioned, stayed on the bus to talk to France captain Patrice Evra.

Meanwhile, fitness coach Robert Duverne was on the field putting down training cones. After Domenech and Evra got off the bus, Evra and Duverne started to argue. Domenech tried to intervene, but Duverne then stormed off, throwing his accreditation down the field.

Afterward, Domenech read a statement he said was written by the players to explain their protest:

"The French Football Federation did not at any time try to protect the group. They took a decision uniquely based on facts reported by the press. As a consequence and to show our opposition to the decision taken by officials of the federation, all the players decided not to take part in today's training session."

Evra and the players, en masse, boarded the team bus and drew the curtains.

In their first two matches at the World Cup, France drew 0-0 with Uruguay and then lost 2-0 to Mexico. France can still advance to the round of 16 with a win over host South Africa, as long as Uruguay and Mexico don't draw in the other Group A match.


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