As has been the case in seemingly all of the countries' greatest moments of adversity, France has yet again surrendered. The French Men's National Team lost team director Jean-Louis Valentin, head trainer Robert Duverne, and their allotted practice time Sunday afternoon in South Africa following the controversial dismissal of striker and Chelsea F.C. star Nicolas Anelka.â†µ
For those unfamiliar with the story, Anelka infamously got into a heated confrontation with now lameduck French manager Raymond Domenech during half-time of the team's shocking 2-0 loss to Mexico Thursday. After taking the pitch in anticipation of the second half, words were had between the two which ultimately culminated with Domenech benching Anelka to start the half and the French football association sending Anelka home yesterday.â†µ
Evidently the decision to dismiss Anelka hasn't sat well with his French brethren, as the resignations and decision by the team to quit practice were said by French captain Patrice Eyra in a statement to be a move the team universally opposes.â†µ
While obviously not tied to Houston sports in any meaningful way, it's always a laugh when a World Cup finalist, particularly an easy target such as France, finds themselves entangled in such an embarrassing controversy. And speaking of controversial, during the post-game of New Zealand's shocking tie of defending world champion Italy, Bob Ley and the ESPN crew elected to conduct a phone interview French periodical L'Equipe's Erik Bielderman. L'Equipe was the outlet responsible for breaking the the specifics of the Anelka-Deomenech exchange. The following hilarity ensued, as Bielderman spared no expense (for ESPN's parent company Disney, who will undoubtedly be hearing from the FCC shortly) in describing verbatim what was said by the French striker:â†µ
Warning: Contains strong language that may be considered offensive by some. Earmuffs, etc. as necessary.