Blanc makes debut by suspending French team | sports | Hindustan Times
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Blanc makes debut by suspending French team

New France coach Laurent Blan on Friday has punished the country's farcical World Cup squad by dropping each of the 23 players for a friendly against Norway next month.

sports Updated: Jul 23, 2010 23:29 IST

New France coach Laurent Blanc on Friday has punished the country's farcical World Cup squad by dropping each of the 23 players for a friendly against Norway next month.

Blanc's decision to take action was approved by the French Football Federation's (FFF) federal council after a meeting with Raymond Domenech's successor in Paris.

France suffered a miserable World Cup campaign in South Africa, marked by striker Nicolas Anelka's expulsion after his foul-mouthed tirade at Domenech, infighting, and the players' refusal to train.

'Les Bleus' returned home in ignominy after failing to win any of their first round games, with Domenech refusing to shake South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parriera's hand following the final defeat to the hosts.

Blanc, who will release his squad for the Norway game on August 5, refused to elaborate on his decision to boycott the World Cup squad.

France football has endured a woeful year, with Thierry Henry's controversial handball which put France into the World Cup at the expense of Ireland in the play-offs, their pitiful display in the competition itself, and then the scandal involving international stars Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema who this week put under investigation on charges of having sex with an under-age prostitute.

The crisis that engulfed Domenech's last mission as national coach resulted in the resignation of FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes, with his successor due to be unveiled on Friday.

Meanwhile France forward Franck Ribery, placed under judicial investigation by French authorities this week on suspicion of soliciting sex with an under-age prostitute, is depressed but not worried about his career.

"There are moments in life that are stressful and depressing. This is definitely one of those moments," the Bayern Munich playmaker told the German tabloid Bild newspaper in an interview published on Friday.

But he added: "No, I'm not worried for my future or my career.”