Ahead of France's crucial World Cup qualifying match away to Romania, the tension is mounting. Anything less than a win could sign the end of coach Raymond Domenech's four-year reign.
Under-fire France coach Raymond Domenech said he was not worried by his own fate before a World Cup qualifier in Romania on Saturday that could spell the end of his tenure. "The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that we need to qualify for the 2010 World Cup," Domenech told reporters at the team's base outside Paris on Friday.
"I've said so before and I'll keep saying it -- qualifying does not depend on one match alone and there will be more matches after this one," he added.
Domenech, who was left in charge but told he needed results after his team's group-stage exit from Euro 2008, knows a bad outcome in the Group Seven match (1840 GMT) in the Black Sea port of Constanta might cost him his job.
The 56-year-old, whose team began their qualifying campaign with a shock 3-1 defeat by Austria, earned himself a stay of execution with a 2-1 win over Serbia last month.
He realises, however, that he is not safe yet, after French federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes said an assessment of the coach's position would be made after the Romania match.
The abrasive coach received support from captain Patrick Vieira, who has not played for France for months because of a thigh injury but should lead the team on Saturday.
"Since he's been left in charge, players and officials must support him, full stop," midfielder Vieira told reporters on Friday. "He has to stay on until the end, he has to be allowed to keep doing his job."
France will play Tunisia in a friendly in Paris on Tuesday and the French federation will meet the next day with the coach's case on the agenda.
French media have started speculating on who might replace Domenech, with 1998 world champions Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc the favourites.
Date created : 2008-10-11