France's govt called into Anelka row - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

France's govt called into Anelka row

21/06/2010 07:48:21 PM Comments (0)

French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot is to hold crisis talks with the national football team's mutinous players and coach Raymond Domenech on Monday after the squad refused to train at the World Cup.

Bachelot had been due to fly out later in the day but had been asked to extend her stay in South Africa by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the wake of the dispute, according to a source in her entourage.

"She is going to meet tonight with (French football federation president) Jean-Pierre Escalettes, Raymond Domenech, (the captain) Patrice Evra and probably the players", said the source.

France, the 1998 World Cup winners and finalists last time round in 2006, were plunged into crisis on Sunday when the players refused to train in solidarity with striker Nicolas Anelka who had been sent home for a foul-mouthed rant at Domenech.

The players' refusal to train prompted a official, whose job is to liaise between the team and the federation, to announce he was resigning.

With only one point from their two matches so far, the team faces the prospect of a first-round exit unless they can beat the hosts South Africa at a match in Bloemfontein on Tuesday night and other results work in their favour.

The aide to Bachelot said the minister would go to Tuesday's match.

"Instead of going home tonight (Monday), we are going to be on hand at the France South Africa game following a request from the president," said the source.

After Anelka's outburst became public on Saturday, Bachelot had issued an appeal for players to behave with "dignity".

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