France's chaotic FIFA World Cup™ campaign is in disarray after the players boycotted training in support of Nicolas Anelka, who was sent home yesterday for a row with coach Raymond Domenech.
Less than 24 hours after the Chelsea forward was excluded by the French Football Federation (FFF) for refusing to apologise for his verbal attack on Domenech, the rest of the squad took matters into their own hands. Just a few minutes after taking the field for a training session at their Knysna base in South Africa, captain Patrice Evra and fitness coach Robert Duverne became involved in an argument.
Domenech stepped in and Duverne stormed away as the players walked off and boarded the team bus. The coach returned moments later to read a statement from the squad to the assembled media. "All players without exception want to declare their opposition to the FFF decision to exclude Nicolas Anelka," it said. The statement added the players were angered the Anelka-Domenech row had become public and criticised the FFF "which at no time tried to protect the squad". However, the players vowed "to do everything individually and collectively so that France regains its honour [against South Africa] on Tuesday".