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Disgraced French football coach to go before parliament

Disgraced French football coach Raymond Domenech and ex-football federation supremo Jean-Pierre Escalettes will appear before lawmakers on Wednesday to explain France's chaotic World Cup campaign.

sports Updated: Jun 29, 2010 15:47 IST

Disgraced French football coach Raymond Domenech and ex-football federation supremo Jean-Pierre Escalettes will appear before lawmakers on Wednesday to explain France's chaotic World Cup campaign.

The two football heavyweights are to address a hearing of the National Assembly's Cultural Affairs commission, called to discuss the disastrous showing of the French squad in South Africa.

France has reacted with a mix of humiliation and anger to the team's elimination from the tournament which came after two defeats, one draw, a players' strike and foul-mouthed squabbles in the dressing room.

Domenech, the outgoing coach, and Escalettes, who resigned on Monday as French Football Federation (FFF) have both been harshly criticised over the Bleus' debacle.

Members of President Nicolas Sarkozy's governing UMP party are pressing for a commission of inquiry while the president himself has said that those responsible for the disaster should be held accountable.

The parliamentary hearings were scheduled as FIFA president Sepp Blatter warned the French government against any meddling in football affairs, which he stressed were the purview of the football federation.

"We don't want political interference," Blatter said in Johannesburg. "The national sports law exists but in the FIFA statutes, no political interference can be tolerated."

French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot, who traveled to South Africa and gave the team a severe dressing-down over their poor performance, will also address deputies on Tuesday.