French legend Lilian Thuram has insisted that current captain Patrice Evra must never play for France again, as punishment for his role in the national team’s implosion in South Africa.
Evra was a central figure in the player’s revolt that followed Nicolas Anelka‘s expulsion from the squad, and Thuram believes that the Manchester United man is yet to be sufficiently punished for his actions;
“I demanded that the players be harshly punished and that Evra never returns to the France squad.”
Evra is believed to be one of the ‘ringleaders’ that co-erced the rest of the French squad into striking over Anelka’s treatment, and he was also involved in a heated altercation with fitness coach Robert Duverne during an open training session – a slanging match that was broadcast live on French television.
With the players returning to the team bus in protest, it was left to coach Raymond Domenech to read a hastily prepared statement on behalf of his players to explain their actions.
As a result of le revolt, Evra was dropped for France’s final group game against hosts South Africa – but Thuram believes that his exclusion should be permanent.
Speaking at the French Football Federation’s general council on Friday, World Cup winner Thuram said;
“When you are captain of the France team, you must have a responsibility to the jersey and the people.
When the players shut themselves in the bus, and the fact that it was the coach who read the statement, that showed that the coach was no longer respected.
In any group there are leaders and people who follow, and others who do not agree and do not dare say no.”
Former Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc was officially sworn in as Domenech’s successor on Friday, and will now face the daunting task of rebuilding the French team from the foundations up.
Although, I would suggest that Les Bleus don’t really need a new coach at the helm..
They need a child-minder.