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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Monday, 28 June 2010 17:54 UK

World Cup 2010: French chief quits after fiasco

Raymond Domenech

The end of the road for France

Jean-Pierre Escalettes has confirmed he will resign as president of the French Football Federation following the nation's disastrous World Cup campaign.

France, beaten finalists in 2006, went out in the group stages as they were engulfed by infighting in South Africa.

Les Bleus' squad even boycotted a training session in support of Nicolas Anelka, who had been sent home for insulting then coach Raymond Domenech.

"I consider that it is my duty," said the 75-year-old Escalettes.

Striker and former captain Thierry Henry was summoned to talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy when the team arrived home last Wednesday and following calls from government officials for change at the top of its football federation, Escalettes will resign on Friday.

I will be available to everybody to analyse frankly the reasons behind the fiasco of the French team in South Africa

Jean-Pierre Escalettes

"After a weekend of reflection during which I consulted with my elected colleagues and those close to me, I have decided that I must resign," added Escalettes, who had initially indicated it would not be in his nature to walk away.

"I accept a clear portion of responsibility.

"My decision is essentially dictated by the wish to preserve and facilitate the development of an institution that I have had a passion for for several decades.

"I will be available to everybody to analyse frankly the reasons behind the fiasco of the French team in South Africa."

France left South Africa with one point and one goal from the group stage, in which they opened with a drab goalless draw against the Uruguay but were then beaten by Mexico and the hosts.

On arriving in Paris last week, Henry confirmed that none of the squad would receive any bonuses or payment from private sponsors after their embarrassing exit.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, sports minister Roselyne Bachelot and junior sports minister Rama Yade joined Sarkozy to discuss how a country that won the World Cup in 1998 and reached the final in 2006 could only finish bottom of their group in 2010.

But football's world governing Fifa warned French politicians on Saturday to beware of meddling in the running of the sport amid those high-level meetings.

"I spoke to the sports minister's office and told them to be very careful," stated Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke.

"There is an autonomy of the sporting movement, and there can't be any political interference in what's happened."



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see also
The end of the road for France
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Ribery undergoes surgery on groin
25 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Domenech snubs Parreira handshake
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - France 1-2 South Africa
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
France players return to training
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Anelka row sparks player revolt
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
France squad statement in full
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Anelka sent home for coach insult
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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