The controversy surrounding les Bleus' infamous World Cup strike refuses to die off. On Thursday, the French weekly le Point reported that it had obtained a copy of an undisclosed report by the French Football Federation (FFF) on the incident, in which three players name coach Raymond Domenech as the “locker-room mole”.
On June 19, the day after France lost to Mexico in the first round of the South African World Cup, the French sports daily L’Equipe published a shocking insult as its front page headline. The paper said the insult was what striker Nicolas Anelka had yelled at the team’s coach in the locker room at half-time.
Anelka was subsequently suspended from the competition. In protest at Anelka’s exclusion, the French players refused to participate in a training session. This action, in turn, led to sanctions against four of the squad’s strike “ringleaders”.
According to le Point, the FFF investigation auditioned 18 players, three federation members and three team staff. Among those interviewed, three players said they thought it was Domenech himself who had leaked the incident to l’Equipe.
In addition, le Point reported, the FFF investigation recommended that all 23 players “be sent before the disciplinary committee," and signalled that Domenech had made “unexplained decisions that led to uneasiness, even resentment”, while making “no effort to resolve the incident [with Anelka].”