France - football

Sports minister on warpath after Bleus crash out

Reuters

France has been eliminated from the World Cup in the first round after one draw and two defeats. After South Africa beat the Bleus on Tuesday evening in Bloemfontein, French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot criticised both the players and the football authorities.

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“Those responsible for this disaster must be held to account. The French team is in a state of ruin, physically, technically and morally,” Bachelot said on channel TF1. “We must now rebuild everything.”

"Everyone with a role in this disaster, the players, the people in charge of the football federation, must take responsibility ", she said.

The team’s stay in South Africa was marred by the sacking of striker Nicolas Anelka for insulting the coach, Raymond Domenech, and a subsequent training strike from the rest of the team.

Bachelot gave the team a dressing down before Tuesday’s match, saying they were letting their country down. She reduced some of the players to tears.

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