Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay Yukos shareholders over $50bn in damages

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

Sport

Fractured French team in critical clash against hosts

Video by Louis MASSIE

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-06-22

A bitter French team beset by internal tensions will try to salvage some honour from their dismal World Cup performance when they take on hosts South Africa in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

Bitterly divided France take on hosts South Africa on Tuesday, knowing that victory may not suffice to spare them an embarrassingly early exit. Should they fail, Les Bleus can expect a furious French public to show no mercy upon their return home.

To reach the second round of the competition, France need to beat the Bafana Bafana by a margin of at least three goals, and hope that the other Group B match, between Mexico and Uruguay, does not end in a draw.

At the best of the times, the task ahead of the French would be daunting; amid the current turmoil, it appears almost forlorn.

It remains to be seen whether France’s hapless coach, Raymond Domenech, can put together a squad that is fit to play.

At a press conference on Monday, he acknowledged that “some of the players may be too shaken, both physically and psychologically,” to even straddle the pitch.

Domenech said he could not rule out some players even refusing to play.

French farce on and off the pitch

French hopes appeared dead and buried as early as Thursday, when the team slumped to a dismal 2-0 defeat to Mexico. But since then, France’s campaign has gone from bad to worse.

On Saturday, reports of a foul-mouthed rant aimed at Domenech during the Mexico game prompted the eviction of star striker Nicolas Anelka. The media leak in turn sparked a hunt for a “traitor” within the French camp.

When French players refused to train the next day in protest at Anelka’s eviction, the team’s director resigned, politicians were forced to step in, and criticism of Les Bleus turned to vitriol.

The team that had so often been the pride of a nation had become the laughing stock of the world, and its failings had provoked profound soul-searching back home.

Bafana Bafana to make history

Les Bleus are not the only ones up against the wall.

Their opponents South Africa still hope to prove the bookies wrong by snatching an unlikely qualification.

South Africa feels the heat

The Bafana Bafana will also be desperate not to become the first host nation to exit a World Cup in the group stage.

Either way, they will make history.

South Africa also need a free-scoring win, as well as a favourable result from the other match.

Yet, unlike the French, they may hold their heads up high should they exit the tournament on an honourable result.

And, contrary to Les Bleus, they may count on the full backing of their vuvuzela-blaring fans inside Bloemfontein stadium.

 

 

Date created : 2010-06-22

  • WORLD CUP 2010

    French coach says some team members may not play host South Africa

    Read more

  • WORLD CUP

    Nicolas Anelka: French football’s 'enfant terrible'

    Read more

  • FOOTBALL

    Timeline of Les Bleus' fall from grace

    Read more

COMMENT(S)