Sponsors put France on best behaviour

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The Independent Football

France's 12 sponsors will base their contributions over the next four years on results and behaviour following the team's embarrassing World Cup campaign.

A 10 to 15 per cent bonus could be awarded to the French Football Federation if results and behaviour are deemed good enough. However, if they are not, there may be a 10 to 15 per cent reduction in contributions. "There will be bonuses and penalties based on results and image," the federation's vice-president, Noel Le Graet, said in the build-up to the Euro 2012 qualifier against Romania in Paris tomorrow.

Several sponsors distanced themselves from France when they were knocked out in the first round of the World Cup in South Africa in June. Striker Nicolas Anelka was also kicked out of the squad for insulting the then coach Raymond Domenech, triggering a strike among the players.

Crédit Agricole suspended an advertising campaign that pictured some players, including Franck Ribéry, as angels, while GDF Suez said it would reassess its partnership with Les Bleus. But the FFF president, Fernand Duchaussoy, said that the federation had now "restored a relationship of confidence with our partners".

Spain are feeling the pressure of a packed schedule and a string of injury absentees ahead of their qualifier against Lithuania tonight, according to defender Sergio Ramos. Vicente del Bosque's squad is without Fernando Torres, Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas, Jesus Navas and Pedro Rodriguez due to injury. "The calendar is tight, there are many games and much travel," Ramos said. "We are not machines and we have been suffering from wear and tear. Many players are suffering."

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