And for once, the French apparently do get it. (Although it truth, we have been mocking them for years.) After playing poorly in the World Cup (a draw and then an unexpected loss), tempers have boiled over on the team and players–in front of the press and fans–actually refused to get off the bus to practice Sunday. Accusations are flying back and forth and the end result is that three of Europe’s most respected soccer nations (England, France & Italy) are all in trouble in only the early rounds of play. What does that mean for you? More off-field drama than on. Better than no drama at all, we guess.
Here’s more from ESPN who has desperately been trying to sell soccer to American fans:
The latest round of turbulence also led to the resignation of France team director Jean-Louis Valentin, who said he was fed up with the team. “It’s a scandal for the French, for the young people here. It’s a scandal for the federation and the French team,” Valentin said. “They don’t want to train. It’s unacceptable.”
Before getting in a car and driving off, he added: “As for me, it’s over. I’m leaving the federation. I’m sickened and disgusted.” Tensions boiled over after the team arrived at training and got off the bus to greet about 200 fans who had gathered there. Domenech, whose tactics and management skills have been questioned, stayed on the bus to talk to France captain Patrice Evra.
Meanwhile, fitness coach Robert Duverne was on the field putting down training cones. After Domenech and Evra got off the bus, Evra and Duverne started to argue. Domenech tried to intervene, but Duverne then stormed off, throwing his accreditation down the field. “Everyone in the whole world is mocking us now,” winger Franck Ribery said on television hours before training even started. “I’m gutted, because we’re not playing football any more.”