Monday, June 21, 2010

France - Will they, won't they play South Africa?

image, Reuters

If you're an England football fan, utterly depressed by the insipid nature of the team's play, uninspired tactics and general woefulness, then pretty much the only thing still keeping you going each day is the way in which the French national football team is spectacularly imploding at this year's World Cup...

It all started on Thursday when, at half time in the France-Mexico game, Nicolas Anelka and national coach, Raymond Domenech, had a bit of a spat - which is to say, Anelka told Domenech to 'go fuck yourself' and was promptly substituted for the second half.

Now, in most teams, that would be that. Player gets angry, says something stupid. By the end of the match, angry player is less angry and sheepishly apologises to the manager; player then gets a slap on the wrist, some kind of fine, and everything is copacetic.

However, that's not quite how things went for the French team. In their case, angry player remains angry and refuses to apologise. Football Federation decide angry player is disruptive influence and kick angry player out of the squad. This makes for an angry squad. Angry squad refuses to train in protest. This makes for angry Football Federation team director. Angry team director quits. This makes for angry French nation who are not used to their football team humiliating them in quite this way...

And, with things looking like they couldn't get any worse, it today got worse when there was a clear hint from their manager that some of the team may go so far as to refuse to play against South Africa.

England fans can briefly revel in a bit of schadenfreude but will, more than likely, be looking at the England team that performed so appallingly against Algeria and wishing that a few of the England squad would decide to boycott the next game...

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