Monday, June 21, 2010

Bafana versus the French in icy Bloem ought to be a humdinger

SHOOT: Both teams have to salvage pride and will probably play their hearts out. If that happens France, ranked 9th, ought to beat Bafana, ranked 80-something, 4-0.
clipped from
French players (from L to R), goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier, Florent Malouda and assistant coach Bruno Martini arrive at a public training session in Knysna, near Cape Town June 20, 2010. The World Cup team refused to train following a dispute on the practice field, one day after striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for insulting coach Raymond Domenech

President Nicolas Sarkozy asked his sports minister in South Africa to prolong her stay to speak to the captain, coach and head of the French Football Federation (FFF) to calm the situation before Tuesday’s final Group A game against South Africa.

The French team walked out from a public training session over the expulsion of striker Nicolas Anelka a day earlier for crudely insulting coach Raymond Domenech during their surprise 2-0 defeat by Mexico on Thursday.

“He (Sarkozy) like me, we are taking note of the indignation of the French people and ... calling for dignity and responsibility,” she told TFI television.

“I am appalled. I am appalled because I have worn the French national colours as you know, and when you wear the French national colours you have added responsibilities,” she told LCI television.

“It’s intolerable. It’s not at all professional,” Emmanuel Petit, a former French international who scored in France’s 1998 World Cup final win over Brazil, told France 2 television.

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