Paris: President Nicolas Sarkozy damned the
shamed French football squad, saying the team had been
"disastrous" for their country`s image at the World Cup in
"The image shown by the French team in South Africa?
Disastrous. I said: `Those in charge must go`. They are gone,
let`s not heap abuse on them. The players shouldn`t get
bonuses. They didn`t," he said.
Sarkozy, who had already privately made known his
displeasure at France`s woeful campaign, was responding
publicly for the first time since the team`s first round exit
during a television interview yesterday.
Explaining why he had taken time out of his political
schedule to meet former team captain Thierry Henry on June 24,
Sarkozy said that he had wanted to learn more about why the
team had failed so badly.
France failed to win any of its three first round games
and scored only once in what had been considered a fairly easy
group, in a campaign marked by bitter team infighting and and
one-day training strike by the players.