France's 2010 World Cup team have withdrawn their labour in support of a colleague sent home after a row with the team's unpopular coach.
20th June 2010
The French national team refused to train yesterday, in protest over the French Football Federation’s (FFF) decision to send Nicolas Anelka back to France after he had a row with the club’s coach. Anelka and team head Raymond Domenech had words at halftime during the French loss against Mexico, and after refusing to apologise for the incident, the FFF decided to send Anelka home. The rest of the club united behind their estranged teammate and refused to train on Saturday, ultimately resulting in the resignation of team-director Jean-Louis Valentin.
Valentin was in tears as he read the statement announcing his decision to resign, and said that what happened at this year’s World Cup was very scandalous for the French squad. He went on to say that he is utterly disgusted by the fact that the team refused to train, and he leaves the team broken-hearted.
According to a statement read by coach Domenech, his players refused to train because they wanted to declare their opposition to the removal of their teammate by the FFF. He went on to read that although the team regrets the incident which occurred at halftime, they regret even more the fact that it was leaked to the press, and that the FFF did not perform an internal investigation prior to their decision. Domenech also said the players were disgusted with the FFF for not protecting the squad.