Thuram: France should ban Evra for his role in debacle

The former France defender Lilian Thuram has called on the French Football Federation (FFF) to ban current captain Patrice Evra from future international action.

The Manchester United full-back led the team in their dismal World Cup campaign in South Africa this summer and was central to the squad's refusal to train the day after Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka's exclusion for a war of words with the coach, Raymond Domenech.

After Evra confronted the fitness coach, Robert Duverne, who then stormed out of the training session and hurled his accreditation to one side, the squad retired to the team bus and left Domenech to read a statement to the press on their behalf.

Speaking after yesterday's meeting of the FFF's general council, Thuram said: "I demanded that the players be harshly punished and that Evra never returns to the France squad.

"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."

Thuram won 142 caps for France and was part of the teams which won the 1998 World Cup, the European Championship two years later and the 2003 Confederations Cup. He also played in the 2006 World Cup final and, at club level, won two Serie A titles with Juventus and a Uefa Cup and an Italian Cup with Parma.

Laurent Blanc was officially appointed as France coach yesterday with the mission to restore the team's pride after their disastrous performance in South Africa.

The 44-year-old, a prominent member of France's 1998 World Cup-winning squad, replaces Raymond Domenech, whose contract ended with France's group stage exit from the 2010 finals. Blanc's task will be to qualify for the 2012 European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine, and help them make a fresh start after the World Cup debacle.

The former defender, who coached Bordeaux to the 2009 Ligue 1 title, was appointed during a council meeting of the French Football Federation in Paris.

The FFF president, Jean-Pierre Escalettes, formally handed in his resignation at the meeting, having said on Monday he would quit after the federation was blamed for the way it handled the player revolt in South Africa.

"I have decided to resign because it is my duty," Escalettes told a news conference. "I accept my share of responsibility."

Domenech's six-year tenure ended in shame when France left the tournament with a point and a goal after the scandal involving players boycotting a training session in support of striker Anelka, who was sent home for insulting the coach.

"Raymond Domenech has humbly admitted that he had made mistakes and so have I," said Escalettes, who had faced criticism for leaving the controversial Domenech in charge after the side's Euro 2008 flop, when they went out in the first round following two defeats and a draw.

The 75-year-old Escalettes and Domenech's lack of authority was exposed when they failed to convince the players they should train at their base in Knysna, Western Cape.

"It was my responsibility to make the players get out of the coach and train and I failed," Escalettes said. "I felt humiliated. I am ashamed and I present my apologies to all those who loved and believed in that France team and to the whole world." A caretaker FFF president will be named at a council meeting on 23 July and will stay in charge until an election is organised later this year. France have plenty of rebuilding to do after the team looked lost on the pitch in South Africa and tarnished their reputation with bickering and scandals off it.

"All my life I tried to give another image than the one I am leaving and I feel sad," Escalettes said. "My successor will have to draw the conclusions from what happened to make sure it never happens again."

Blanc, a prolific player both at international and club levels, has already enjoyed success in his coaching career with Bordeaux.

Nicknamed "The President" for his calm authority in his playing days, he will initially be more respected than the controversial Domenech, if only for his far more impressive CV.

"I believe in Laurent Blanc and in the team he will come up with," Escalettes said.

The debate on who should run the France team is not over, with a growing discrepancy between the FFF, in charge of amateur football and the national side, and the French Football League (LFP), responsible for the professional game.

"The only dignified and responsible attitude would be for the members of the federal council [of the FFF] to resign collectively," the LFP president, Frédéric Thiriez, who is also an FFF vice-president, told reporters just before yesterday's meeting.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
music

News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album