French mutiny would be unacceptable

MIKE ZEISBERGER, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 PM ET

JOHANNESBURG - If France packs it in against South Africa on Tuesday, FIFA should seriously consider taking action against that country's national side.

French coach Raymond Domenech admitted to reporters here Monday that there was a "possibility" some players would refuse to take the field for their final group match versus Bafana Bafana.

Such actions would be wrong on so many fronts.

Sure, the players are peeved that the beleaguered coach sent striker Nicolas Anelka home after the two men exchanged words during a 2-0 loss to Mexico last week.

But to simply not come out for the game would be mutiny, plain and simple.

And that's wrong.

This goes beyond the ridiculous mess that the French team has become. This result of this game has implications for who stays and who goes in the tournament, with South Africa and Uruguay both vying for the lone remaining Group A spot to get into the Round of 16 behind Mexico.

Simply put, it involves the integrity of the game and the tournament.

"Once the game starts, France will do everything in its power to win this group match," South African coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said.

Given what's happened over the past few days, that's no certainty by any means.

Meanwhile, the French are losing corporate sponsorship left and right. And it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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