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French players offer words, but no explanation, for World Cup debacle

After coming home with their tails between their legs, and to the derision of the French press, public and government, three of France's top players talked live on French television about the World Cup fiasco, but stopped short of an explanation.

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Three days after "Les Bleus" were eliminated from the World Cup, three of the French squad's players - Thierry Henry, Patrice Evra and Eric Abidal will address the nation on three different television channels.

The players are expected to offer some explanation for the team's poor performances and off-pitch antics that drew global attention to the French national team for all the wrong reasons.

Between 6pm and 8pm Paris time (GMT+2) FRANCE 24 will be updating this page with the players' comments.

 

TF1 at 8.05 p.m. Paris time (GMT+2)

Eric Abidal on Nicolas Anelka's explusion from the French team:

"The players didn't agree with Anelka's explusion. We thought that not going to training was the right thing to do."

On reported tensions between players, that led to Yoann Gourcuff being left on the bench:

"I didn't feel any tension in the group - it was doing well, it was healthy."

 

Canal + at 7.25 p.m. Paris time (GMT+2)

Barcelona player Thierry Henry on the team's boycott of the training session:

"Together, we all decided to stay in the bus. We all agreed at the time. But looking back on it now, and seeing the consequences, it was a mistake."

On coach Raymond Domenech's leadership:

"It's usually the coach that leads the team and he was there. But, no, some people didn't agree with him.

On the front page in French sports daily L'Equipe quoting Nicolas Anelka's alleged insult of coach Raymond Domenech:

"What amazed me was the front page of L'Equipe. I was in the changing rooms and I can tell you that wasn't what Nico [Anelka] said."

 

TFI at 6pm Paris time (GMT+2)

French captain Patrice Evra on the team’s boycott:

“It was a clumsy way for us to get our message across. It was a decision taken by the whole team, and we were united right through to the end.”

On coach Raymond Domenech's refusal to let [Evra] speak at the final press conference:

"It's the first time in my life that I have had my freedom of expression denied. For me it was the final straw."
 

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