The French Football Federation (FFF) have suspended all 23 members of France’s World Cup squad for their next game, at the behest of their newly-appointed coach Laurent Blanc – who was sworn in as Raymond Domenech‘s successor last month.
France endured a tortuous campaign in South Africa, failing to win a single game and finishing bottom of their group, but there woeful display on the pitch came to be vastly overshadowed by the childish mutiny that ensued off it.
Expulsions, boycotts, in-fighting and even a ludicrously melodramatic parliamentary hearing came to define Les Bleus tumultuous tournament, and Blanc has admitted that the ongoing problems are just too prevalent for him to turn a blind eye to;
“I obviously cannot act as if nothing had happened in South Africa. I followed the events with sadness, I was disappointed with the sporting results and I was shocked by certain behaviours.
I will integrate these elements into my analysis and my thoughts. I always had the principles, rules of conduct and not just in my sporting life. They have not changed and I will not change.”
Blanc’s request to suspend the offending players was met with unanimous support from the FFF, who swiftly actioned the bold move, and as a result no member of the World Cup squad will be deemed ‘available’ for France’s upcoming friendly with Norway in Oslo on August 11th.
The first opportunity any of the sanctioned players will get to feature in a Blanc squad will be in France’s opening Euro 2012 qualifier against Belarus on September 3rd.
Regardless of his decision, Blanc will still have an enviable pool of players to select from for his maiden game against Norway, with the likes of Lassana Diarra, Karim Benzema, Mouassa Sissoko and Samir Nasri (amongst others) at his disposal.