'France suffered due to communication problem'

Last Updated 07 July 2010, 18:49 IST

The 32-year-old central defender, capped 84 times by France, started all three group games of Les Bleus' South African campaign which ended with a first round exit and was marred by scandals off the pitch.

"The real problem was the coach. We suffered from a communication problem. Domenech was not open to discussion," he said in an interview to be published on Thursday by the cultural weekly Les Inrockuptibles.

"A lot of players could not talk to him any more. Our opinion carried no weight so after a while we stopped talking. That's what I did. I was just listening and doing what he told me to do."

Gallas also said that Domenech was responsible for the boycott of a training session in support of striker Nicolas Anelka sent home for insulting the coach at halftime in their 2-0 defeat by Mexico in their second group game.

"We wanted to protest against the decision taken by the coach and the Federation particularly because the coach said Anelka had not been kicked out because of his insults but because he had refused to talk about it afterwards," he said.

"It's him (Domenech) who refused discussion. The boycott of the training session was decided during a meeting of all the players. Franck Ribery was late because of a television interview. We all agreed to boycott training. There was no pressure from the senior players," he added.

Domenech's six year tenure ended in such a disgrace that it caused uproar in France.
Sports minister Roselyne Bachelot castigated "the disaster of the national team made of immature gang leaders in command of scared kids."

Lilian Thuram, a prominent member of the 1998 World Cup-winning team and now a member of the French Federation's council, said the players, who led the revolt, should be banned from playing for France again.

France's new coach Laurent Blanc however told his first press conference on Tuesday that it was not his responsibility to take disciplinary action against players like Ribery, Patrice Evra or Eric Abidal who have been branded as the ringleaders.  "I shall select them if I think they are the best players available," he said.

(Published 07 July 2010, 18:49 IST)

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