EURO 2012

Blanc steps down from France post

Laurent Blanc's future is unclear after reports that he has left France.
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Laurent Blanc is to step down as coach of France, the French Football Federation have announced.

Reports emerged earlier on Saturday that the former Bordeaux boss would not be continuing with Les Bleus following a meeting with the FFF.

The FFF then confirmed the 46-year-old would not be renewing his contract following France's exit from Euro 2012 following a 2-0 defeat by Spain at the quarterfinal stage.

The former national team defender took over from Raymond Domenech after France's disastrous 2010 World Cup where they crashed out at the group stage.

Blanc inherited a disunited group still smarting from their exit but managed to knit the team back together and with Karim Benzema having established himself as one of Europe's top players under Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, France were tipped to be outside contenders in Poland and Ukraine.

However, they went out with a whimper against Vicente del Bosque's finalists and this was followed by Samir Nasri having a foul-mouthed argument with a reporter.

Now Blanc has decided his time is up after just two years in charge with Didier Deschamps favourite to succeed him after he indicated his intention to leave Marseille.

A statement on the FFF website read: "Within the period provided for reflection, Laurent Blanc, on Saturday contacted the President of the FFF, Noel Le Graet, to indicate his decision not to seek the renewal of his contract of national coach.

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"Mr. Le Graet has acknowledged and applauded the work of Laurent Blanc at the head of the France team since August 2010.

"The executive committee of the federation is meeting on Tuesday but no comments will be made by the FFF and its president before the press conference scheduled at the conclusion of this work session."

Blanc has immediately been linked with the vacancy at English Premier League side Tottenham following the departure of Harry Redknapp.

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