France coach Domenech to remain in charge

Raymond Domenech was confirmed as France coach Friday and will lead

his team at next year’s World Cup in South Africa, French

federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes said.

Earlier this week, a member of the federation’s governing

body, Guy Chambily, had called for Domenech to leave in order to

“stop the bloodshed.”

“It would not have been very professional to put somebody

else in charge of the France team,” Escalettes said. “It would have

been difficult for the players to accept that. They would have felt

betrayed.”

Escalettes added that federation members were asked about the

possibility of dismissing Domenech but none except Chambily wanted

to debate the matter.

Domenech has been harshly criticized for France’s poor

results during its qualifying campaign. France booked its place at

the World Cup through the playoffs with a controversial 2-1 win

over Ireland.

After its 1-0 win in Dublin, France secured a 1-1 draw at the

Stade de France thanks to Barcelona striker Thierry Henry’s

handball in the build-up to William Gallas’ equalizer.

Domenech was appointed in 2004 and guided France to the World

Cup final in 2006 only for it to crash out in the first round of

the European championships two years later.

Escalettes said that France will set up its World Cup

training camp in Tunisia. Following a friendly against Costa Rica

on May 25 at the Stade de France, the French players will travel to

the town of Sousse and will play Tunisia in Rades on May 30.

France will then fly to Reunion island in the Indian Ocean to

face China in June. France will start its World Cup campaign

against Uruguay on June 11.