France's World Cup team refused to train on Sunday in protest of Nicolas Anelka's expulsion from the squad for profanity-laced tirades against coach Raymond Domenech.
“The French Football Federation did not at any time try to protect the group. They took a decision uniquely based on facts reported by the press,” Domenech said, reading from a statement written by the players. “As a consequence and to show our opposition to the decision taken by officials of the federation, all the players decided not to take part in today's training session.”
The latest chaotic scene also led to the resignation of France team director Jean-Louis Valentin. “It's a scandal for the French, for the young people here. It's a scandal for the federation and the French team,” Valentin said. “They don't want to train. It's unacceptable. As for me, it's over. I'm leaving the federation. I'm sickened, disgusted.”
The team arrived at training as usual and got off the bus to greet fans, but Domenech and captain Patrice Evra stayed on the bus to talk. When Domenech and Evra finally disembarked, fitness coach Robert Duverne was on the field putting down training cones. Evra and Duverne argued and Domenech walked over to intervene. Duverne then stormed off, throwing his accreditation badge to the ground.