Platini: Domenech will go if France miss finals

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The Independent Football

The Uefa president, Michel Platini, believes the France coach Raymond Domenech will stand down if Les Bleus fail to qualify for the World Cup.

Domenech avoided the axe following his team's woeful Euro 2008 campaign. The former Lyon coach stayed on but has done little to improve his reputation. An unimpressive qualifying campaign has been marred further by reports of a bust-up between Domenech and his players last month.

France booked their place in the play-offs with a 5-0 weekend victory over the Faroe Islands, and Platini is convinced a failure to go one step further and seal their place in South Africa will spell the end of Domenech's reign. "Raymond will leave, that's for sure," said the former France captain. "His problem isn't football, but that of his communication."

Platini explained: "France deserve to be in the play-offs... looking at the teams they could meet, it won't be easy. I saw Slovakia against Slovenia, it will be very difficult if it's one of these two countries. Moreover, it will be the same against the others too. Republic of Ireland, Ukraine, Bosnia-Herzegovina... these are football teams who are growing and are hungry to progress."

Platini, who won 72 caps and scored 41 goals for France, admits he is worried about the national team's future.

"There has been an end of a generation," he added. "France need to rebuild a team. We don't really have a great generation. Other countries like Italy know this." France were due to complete their qualifying programme at home against Austria last night.

Meanwhile the Germany coach Joachim Löw has denied speculation that Turkey have contacted him about becoming their new manager. Löw has experience in Turkish football having managed Fenerbahce and Adanaspor, while his current Germany contract runs out after next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa. The 49-year-old has, however, denied he is set to replace former boss Fatih Terim after he stood down from the post at the weekend in the wake of Turkey's failure to reach the finals.

"There have been no offers coming in," Löw told the German media. "I know there's been a lot written in Turkey with a lot of names mentioned every day. I'm an expert of Turkish football as I've had spells down there at club level. Anyway, this is absolutely none of my concern actually."

Löw is more likely to extend his current deal with the German Football Association (DFB) after guiding them to next summer's finals with a 1-0 win over Russia in Moscow last Saturday.

The coach revealed he had delayed negotiations on a deal to focus on the end to their qualification campaign, which concluded against Finland last night.

"We're playing Finland and I have waived discussions over new terms for now," he continued. "I am asking my players to fully focus on upcoming matches, though it is the same for the head coach. But I know Mr Zwanziger [Dr Theo Zwanziger, chairman of the DFB] is attempting to sign a new deal with me, of course."