Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | FIFA World Cup

Zinedine Zidane © Action Images

Zidane rebukes French rebels



France's World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane rebuked his compatriots on Monday for refusing to train after striker Nicolas Anelka was thrown out of the camp for insulting the coach.

Zidane, who won the title in 1998 but was famously sent off for headbutting in the last final in 2006 against Italy, had brushes with referees rather than coaches during his illustrious international career, which also reaped a European crown in 2000.

"Concerning the players ... I don't agree with the fact that they refused to go to the training pitch," Zidane (37), who retired after the 2006 final, which France lost on penalties, told reporters in Johannesburg.

"There are two things that will be remembered from this World Cup -- the winner and the fact that the French team refused to attend the training session ahead of their match with South Africa."

Anelka was expelled from the camp on Saturday after refusing to apologise for an allegedly foul-mouthed attack on coach Raymond Domenech at halftime of the 2-0 defeat by Mexico on Thursday.

The defeat left France almost certain to be eliminated from Group A, with Tuesday's final game against hosts South Africa still to play in Bloemfontein.

On Sunday, Anelka's teammates criticised the expulsion in a statement read out by Domenech and refused to train, sparking a storm of outrage at home, led by politicians and former players.

Zidane added on Monday that he deplored the leaking of Anelka's outburst against Domenech to the media but added that players should not interfere with the coach's decisions.

"Even when I was a player, I never gave my opinion on the composition of the team," he said, looking visibly uncomfortable talking about his former teammates.

"I was the captain and there was a coach above me and I respected him. I followed the rules and that's how I think things should be."

Zidane said he has no desire to become the French coach in the future and that if France came out with a big win against hosts South Africa, the ill feelings within the party could be forgotten.

"The only way for people to forget about these issues is if France wins tomorrow's game," he said, adding there is a "very small" hope they could still qualify from the group stage.

Following a dismal start against Uruguay, resulting in a goalless draw, France were battered by Mexico 2-0.

Anelka admitted having a heated exchange with the coach, but denied the crude words French daily L'Equipe attributed to him.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Segun Odegbami
CAF in need of a storm
Any one living in Nigeria would not have been immune from the impact of the Buhari political storm...

Collins Okinyo
Don't blame Yaya for City's failure
Footballers have a thankless job because one minute everyone is praising you and the next everybody...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Are refs favouring certain teams?
There has long been a suspicion that certain referees are favouring certain teams. At least that’s...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Mou faces LVG, Wenger waits to pounce
Going into the weekend round of matches, Chelsea sit top of the Premier League in England with 73...

Sunday Oliseh
Why Klopp may struggle at English clubs
Seven years ago, 2008, a relatively unknown from Mainz 05, Jurgen Klopp, became coach at Germany’s...

Neil Tovey
Schut leaves a legacy
Having spent three years in South Africa plying his trade for Sundowns, Alje Schut will bid the PSL...