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Last Updated: Monday, 12 July, 2004, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Domenech gives Anelka hope
Nicolas Anelka
New France coach Raymond Domenech has offered Manchester City striker Nicolas Anelka an international reprieve.

Previous France coach Jacques Santini refused to consider Anelka after the 25-year-old turned down a late call-up for a friendly against Yugoslavia.

"Why should I sideline talented players?" questioned Domenech.

"'Nico' has the qualities to play for France. He will have to prove in his club games that he deserves selection but yes, he will be eligible."

The Manchester City striker won the last of his 28 caps in April 2002.

After snubbing Santini, Anelka was quoted as saying the former French coach would have to go down on his knees to get him back into the squad.

He made a public apology to Santini in March but was left out of France's Euro 2004 squad.

France play Bosnia in a friendly on 18 August and begin their 2006 World Cup qualifiers against Israel at the Stade de France on 4 September.

Domenech, formerly coach of the French under-21 team, succeeded Santini who left after Euro 2004 to take over Tottenham Hotspur.




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