Domenech seeking compensation

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PARIS, November 3- Raymond Domenech is demanding 2.9 million euros from the French football federation (FFF) for unfair dismissal, following his sacking after France's World Cup catastrophe, his lawyer confirmed Wednesday.Former France coach Domenech was sacked for "serious error" in September, after presiding over a disastrous World Cup campaign that saw his players boycott a training session before they were eliminated at the group stage.

He was also criticised by the FFF for failing to shake hands with South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira after France’s final game in the competition, a 2-1 defeat by the hosts.

Under French law, dismissal for serious error means the person sacked has no right to severance pay, although he or she can dispute the reasons for the charge before an employment tribunal.

Domenech’s lawyer, Jean-Yves Connesson, told AFP he had submitted their case to the Prud’hommes employment tribunal in Paris and that Domenech was seeking 2.9 million euros in damages.

"We are requesting 2.9 million euros spread over two payments. The first is for 400,000 euros and includes compensation for dismissal. The second is for professional and moral prejudice and is worth three years salary," Connesson told AFP.

He added: "You don’t manage a collective crisis by sacking one individual. An amicable parting of ways was a possibility.

"The federation came up with totally unfounded reasons (for the sacking), and went through with in an irregular, brutal and aggressive manner."

Last month lawyers representing Domenech opened negotiations with the FFF, although a source close to the case said that the terms of any agreement would have to be "very, very reasonable" for the FFF to accept them.

Connesson said Domenech had been a loyal servant of the FFF for 17 years, had never given cause for criticism and was sacked in a way that severely damaged his reputation and chances of future employment.

He also hit out at the fact the FFF paid French first division side Bordeaux 1.5 million euros compensation to free their former coach Laurent Blanc from his contract. Blanc replaced Domenech at the head of ‘Les Bleus’.

"We can’t forget he is the only coach to have qualified France for three consecutive major international tournaments (two World Cups and one European Championships)," the lawyer said.

"And we sack him for a serious error! Those are not valid reasons and we want to prove that in front of a judge.

"It is difficult (for Domenech) to bounce back. Stained by the accusations of serious error means that 17 years of his career has been erased by the stroke of a pen."

The Prud’hommes tribunal will now set a date, within the next three to four months, for the parties to meet in a bid to find an amicable solution.

If that fails, the case could be heard at court at the end of 2011 or the start of 2012.

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