BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – France were 90 minutes away on Tuesday from completing their worst ever performance at a major tournament, or restoring their tarnished reputation and performing a miraculous turnaround.
The 1998 champions, responsible for one of the biggest dramas in World Cup history, need a win with plenty of goals against hosts South Africa in their final Group A match and must hope that Mexico and Uruguay do not draw at the same time.
BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – A players’ revolution, which has torn France’s World Cup squad apart and angered the French president, escalated on Monday after some indicated they might not play in a match which could save their campaign.
A government minister, dispatched to address the warring parties over a crisis which has engulfed France, said the players’ revolt over the expulsion of a colleague who abused the coach, had tarnished the image of the entire nation.
BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – Some of the France players may not want to face South Africa in their final World Cup Group A game on Tuesday following a row over the expulsion of striker Nicolas Anelka, beleaguered coach Raymond Domenech said.
Domenech told a news conference on Monday that he backed the French Football Federation (FFF)’s decision to expel Anelka after the player insulted him and attacked the “imbecility” of the squad for boycotting training on Sunday.
BLOEMFONTEIN (Reuters) – The troubled France team returned to training on Monday to prepare for their final Group A match against South Africa, a day after boycotting a session in support of expelled striker Nicolas Anelka.
All the France players turned up on the pitch at their World Cup base in Knysna, Western Cape, and prepared normally for their final training before Tuesday’s game in Bloemfontein.
BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) – A big win against a scandal-hit France side on Tuesday might not be enough for South Africa to meet a nation’s wild expectations but is the only way they might avoid making unwanted history.
Victory with plenty of goals could save South Africa from becoming the first World Cup hosts not to reach the second round, providing Mexico and Uruguay do not settle for a draw that would put both of them through to the knockout stage.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – Once hailed as France’s equivalent of Brazil great Ronaldo, Nicolas Anelka largely wasted his unique talent because of his hot temper and will now be remembered as one of the World Cup’s famous misfits.
Anelka, who added his name to the list of players sent home from the biggest stage of all, featuring Diego Maradona and Roy Keane, had come to South Africa to play his first World Cup, at 31.
KNYSNA, South Africa, June 19 (Reuters) – Once hailed as
France’s equivalent of Brazil great Ronaldo, Nicolas Anelka
largely wasted his unique talent because of his hot temper and
will now be remembered as one of the World Cup’s famous misfits.
Anelka, who added his name to the list of players sent home
from the biggest stage of all, featuring Diego Maradona and Roy
Keane ID:nLDE65I0HB, had come to South Africa to play his
first World Cup, at 31.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – Striker Nicolas Anelka was kicked out of France’s World Cup squad on Saturday for insulting coach Raymond Domenech and refusing to apologise, the French Football Federation (FFF) said.
Anelka insulted Domenech in a crude manner at halftime of a 2-0 defeat by Mexico on Thursday in Polokwane.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – Once famous for individual brilliance and midfield wizardry, France are in the process of establishing themselves as world champions at the fine art of internal squabbling.
The ghosts of Euro 2008, where a rotten atmosphere marred a campaign that ended after the group stage, have come back to haunt the former world champions on the pitches of South Africa, with another early exit now looming large.
KNYSNA, South Africa (Reuters) – France’s failure to behave as a team and a lack of understanding between the players on the pitch explain why they are faring so poorly at this World Cup, midfielder Jeremy Toulalan said on Friday.
The only player to face the media a day after a shock 2-0 defeat by Mexico, Toulalan admitted the former world champions, now risking an early exit, had a collective problem.