Domenech struggles to fight off French revolution over Henry

The France manager, Raymond Domenech, is facing a revolt from within his squad, the players demanding that he reinstate Thierry Henry for their opening World Cup fixture against Uruguay.

Henry, who is being urged by his family to finish his career at Marseilles rather than accept a lucrative offer to join New York Red Bulls, has told journalists that he expects to start on the bench when France's chaotic World Cup campaign limps into Cape Town tomorrow.

Senior players have told Domenech, who will be replaced by Laurent Blanc at the end of the tournament, that they want to see Lyon's Sidney Govou make way for the 32-year-old Henry and have asked him to replace Yoann Gourcuff with Abou Diaby. During last month's laboured 2-1 victory over Costa Rica, Franck Ribéry snatched the ball from the Bordeaux midfielder just as he was about to take a free-kick and took it himself.

According to the French sports daily, L'Equipe, Domenech was "listening but holding firm". His senior players, who were not named by the paper but who are believed to include Ribéry and Nicolas Anelka, pointed out that Henry's experience and ability to find his form when it mattered were qualities that could not be lightly discarded.

France arrived at their headquarters in Kynysa, midway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, beset by the sort of problems that make Fabio Capello's frustrations with England appear straightforward. Their form in their warm-up games has grown steadily worse with a 1-1 draw against Tunisia, where the French had to come from behind, followed by a defeat to China.

Their hotel, the £450-a-night Penzula Spa, was condemned by the French minister of sport, Rama Yade, as being overly luxurious, while the French Football Association was forced to issue a statement that William Gallas would no longer speak to the media; probably because he had been overlooked to captain the side should Henry not start.

If Domenech cannot be persuaded to alter his plans, Patrice Evra will wear the armband at Green Point Stadium tomorrow night. Domenech pointed out that the hotel was designed to "remove any excuses from the players." He added: "Everything has been put in place so we can function well."

In public both Bacary Sagna and Florent Malouda appealed for France to find some unity before they face Uruguay. "There is no debate," said the Arsenal defender. "The coach has to make his decisions and everyone has to accept it. We can maybe give him some advice but, even if we were to offer it, I don't think he would listen. The most important thing is the team."

Malouda was equally emphatic. "You have to be interested in your team-mates," he said. "You cannot think: 'I'm an attacker, so I only attack.' We are going to look ridiculous if we repeat what we did in Euro 2008 with each player staying in his comfort zone, interested only in good marks from the media."

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform