Following Saturday’s dismissal of Nicolas Anelka from France’s national team after calling coach Raymond Domenech “a son of a whore”, the disgruntled striker’s teammates refused to participate in training earlier today. The lamer-than-lame duck Domenech read the following statement, as quoted by The Times Of India :
“All the players in the French squad without exception wish to affirm their opposition to the decision taken by the French Football Federation (FFF) to exclude Nicolas Anelka.
“We regret the incident at half-time of the France vs Mexico match, but we regret even more the divulging of an event which was only the squad’s business and was part and parcel of the life of a top-level team.
“At the squad’s request, the player tried to engage in a dialogue. We regret that his move was wilfully ignored.
“The FFF did not at any point try to protect the squad. It took a decision based solely on facts reported by the press, without consulting the players.
“As a consequence, and to signal their opposition to the attitude adopted by the most senior officials, all of the players decided not to participate in the training session scheduled for today.”
Anelka’s “go fuck yourself” rip was cited earlier today by L’Quipe’s Eric Bielderman during a chat with ESPN’s Bob Ley. “We appreciate your being direct with the quotation,” replied Ley, slightly taken aback by the rare occurrence of a reporter telling ESPN viewers what an athlete actually said.