France's new national football coach Laurent Blanc (pictured) said it was not up to him to discipline players who went on strike during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, just days before the country's early dismissal from the tournament.
REUTERS - New France coach Laurent Blanc said it was not his responsibility to take disciplinary action against the players who led a mutiny during the team's dismal World Cup campaign.
France were eliminated from the tournament in South Africa in the first round following a campaign marred by a players' boycott of a training session in support of striker Nicolas Anelka, who was sent home for insulting coach Raymond Domenech.
"I followed the events with great sadness. I was disappointed by the results and I was particularly shocked by some behaviour," Blanc, a member of France's World Cup-winning squad in 1998, told a news conference on Tuesday.
"However, I'm not the bogeyman. It is not my responsibility to take disciplinary action."
Blanc was asked about the futures of captain Patrice Evra, playmaker Franck Ribery and defender Eric Abidal, who have been branded as the ringleaders of the squad.
"I shall select them if I think they are the best players available," he said. "I shall have to make choices and, perhaps, some of the players who were in South Africa will not be chosen if I decide they are not the best in their position."
Blanc will name his first squad before France travel to Oslo for a friendly against Norway on Aug. 11. The first official game under his tenure is scheduled for Sept. 3 when Les Bleus host Belarus in a Euro 2012 qualifier.
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