Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Trash collection goes high tech

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users react to escalating violence in Gaza

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win World Cup

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

  • Germany’s Tony Martin wins ninth stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Boko Haram claims Nigeria attacks and supports Iraqi militants

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘an homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

France

Zidane breaks his silence to back Blanc in race quota row

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-08

French football legend Zinedine Zidane has backed embattled French national coach Laurent Blanc over allegations that he discussed a quota system to limit the number of young black and Arab players. Zidane described the allegations as “unfounded”.

AP - Zinedine Zidane has backed France coach Laurent Blanc over allegations that he discussed a quota system to limit the number of young black and Arab players in training centers.

Zidane said “unfounded accusations have been made against Laurent Blanc,” according to French daily L’Equipe, which published online excerpts of an interview it will run in Sunday’s newspaper.

“I know him well. Of course he’s not a racist,” said Zidane, who was Blanc’s teammate in France’s 1998 World Cup winning squad.

The allegations follow a discussion at the French Football Federation in November on the issue of players’ dual nationality.

Zidane talked to Blanc this week to understand the context of the debate and find out what he had actually said.

“He was very affected,” Zidane said. “I think he has started doing a great job (with the France team) and that he has a real project. It’d be crazy if he leaves because of that. He must continue.”

Ouest-France newspaper claimed on Saturday that Blanc had tendered his resignation, a claim later denied by the FFF. The federation said on its website that Blanc won’t discuss the matter publicly until a commission examining the claims issues its findings.

Online news site Mediapart has published a transcript of the discussion between Blanc and other coaches about allegedly setting up a quota system for dual-nationality players, many of them black and Arab who train in France’s academies but could go on to play for other countries.

Zidane said dual nationality was not an issue and that the federation should think about more important topics like scouting, the philosophy of the game and the way young players are trained.

“The idea to select or discriminate kids on the basis of dual nationality is absurd,” Zidane said. Former teammates Lilian Thuram and Patrick Vieira criticized Blanc for approving proposals to limit to 30 percent the number of players of African and North African descent from the age of 13.

Despite coming to Blanc’s rescue, Zidane however acknowledged that the France coach made some poor comments during that November discussion.

“His words were very awkward, all the more so since they appeared in a debate with borderline expressions like the word ‘quota,”” Zidane said.

The sports ministry suspended FFF technical director Francois Blaquart a week ago, pending the conclusion of a probe into the discrimination allegations.
 

Date created : 2011-05-08

  • FRANCE

    Scandal explodes the ‘myth’ of multicultural Les Bleus

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France coach to keep silent ahead of hearing on race scandal

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Probe launched into football race quota scandal

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)