French World Cup squad end strike


KNYSNA, June 21 – The France World Cup squad resumed training here on Monday, according to an AFP photographer, a day after they went on strike over the expulsion of forward Nicolas Anelka.The 21-man squad jogged round the pitch while embattled coach Raymond Domenech chatted with his coaching staff.

On Sunday, amid dramatic scenes, the squad had refused to go through with a public training session and forced Domenech to read out a statement by them.

In it they registered their disapproval of Anelka being sent home after his foul mouthed outburst at the coach at half-time of Thursday’s match with Mexico had been made public in L’Equipe newspaper.

Their refusal to train led to the French Football Federation (FFF) liaison officer Jean-Louis Valentin resigning on the spot in disgust and he is returning to France on Tuesday.

Anelka himself landed in London earlier on Monday.

France – winners in 1998 and finalists in 2006 – need to beat hosts South Africa handsomely on Tuesday and hope that the other match between Uruguay and Mexico doesn’t end in a draw if they are to reach the second round.