Raymond Domenech will remain coach of the France team, according to the president of the French Football Federation, Jean-Pierre Escalettes, putting an end to recent speculation over his future after an indifferent start to the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
Domenech took over the reins of Les Bleus in 2004 and the 56-year-old, who had previously coached the youth side, led the French to the FIFA World Cup™ final in 2006, where they bowed out to Italy on penalties. However, a dreadful UEFA EURO 2008 campaign - the French failed to get out of the group stage - brought calls for his head and an inept loss to Austria at the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers only increased the pressure.
The FFF had indicated Domenech's men had to garner five points from the opening three qualifiers rather than the four they actually managed for him to quell the speculation. However, Tuesday's friendly win over Tunisia and, crucially, the express support of leading players such as Thierry Henry and Franck Ribery, has strengthened the incumbent's hand and he will now continue in the post looking to improve on a record of 33 wins for eight defeats in 59 matches.
A previous meeting of the FFF federal council in July after the EURO debacle had likewise given Domenech the benefit of the doubt. Although they lost to Austria the French did beat Serbia and then showed battling qualities in coming from two goals down to draw last weekend in Romania.
After Tuesday's friendly win over Tunisia Domenech told TF1 television he was unperturbed about the meeting on his future. "It's not my problem. My aim is to prepare the team to the best of my ability, and to construct a team which will go to the 2010 World Cup finals."
With the FFF having extinguishged the speculation France will now focus on their next Group 7 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Lithuania in March next year.