Anelka sent home from World Cup after insulting Domenech

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
nicolas anelka

Anelka, 31, has scored 14 goals for France in his career (Photo: Ryu Voelkel)

Nicolas Anelka has been sent home from the World Cup after insulting France coach Raymond Domenech.

The French Football Federation (FFF) said the 31-year-old striker’s comments, alleged to have been made at half-time during France’s 2-0 loss to Mexico, were “totally unacceptable”.

“Faced by the refusal of the player to publicly apologise, FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes took the decision in total agreement with the coach and the official members of the delegation present to exclude Nicolas Anelka from the squad,” read an FFF statement.

Anelka confirmed he had an disagreement with Domenech, but said news of  it “should never have come out of the changing rooms.”

“I had a heated conversation with the coach, but it happened within the confines of the changing rooms, between the coach and me, in front of my teammates and the staff,” Anelka told France Soir.

“That should never have come out of the changing rooms. I don’t know who can benefit from that, but repeating these kind of things certainly doesn’t help (the team).”

Patrice Evra, the France captain, said a “traitor” must have leaked details of the argument, claiming it “came from someone in the group, who wishes the French team harm. The problem isn’t Anelka, it’s the traitor among us.”

Pressure on Domenech has been intensifying with France having endured a dismal start to their campaign in South Africa. Les Bleus played out a goalless draw with Uruguay, then were comprehensively beaten by Mexico in their second match.

Domenech’s side play hosts South Africa in their final Group A game on 22 June.


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