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Page last updated at 15:23 GMT, Tuesday, 6 July 2010 16:23 UK

Laurent Blanc suggests France selection shake-up

Zinedine Zidane scores for France in the 1998 World Cup final

France win the World Cup in 98'

New France coach Laurent Blanc says he will not penalise those players who rebelled during the 2010 World Cup.

But he has hinted at making changes after succeeding Raymond Domenech, who oversaw a disastrous campaign, blighted by infighting and a players' revolt.

"Some players who were in South Africa will not be chosen if I decide they are not the best in their position," said Blanc, who has signed a two-year deal.

"But I shall select them if I think they are the best available."

Blanc, who helped Les Bleus win the World Cup in 1998 and Euro 2000, takes charge following the nadir of France's footballing fortunes.

Striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home from South Africa during the group stages after refusing to apologise for verbally abusing Domenech, prompting the rest of the squad to boycott a training session in protest ahead of their final game against the hosts.

I can't act as if nothing happened in South Africa

Laurent Blanc

The various controversies forced French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes to resign, while head of state Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to personally lead an investigation into the affair.

But world football authority Fifa has threatened to suspend France if its government interferes in the running of the national side.

Meanwhile, Blanc's former defensive partner Lilian Thuram has demanded that captain Patrice Evra must never play for France again following his role in the players' revolt.

Although Blanc said he was "outraged" by the actions of the players in South Africa, he maintained the squad will only be chosen on ability.

"I can't act as if nothing happened in South Africa," said the 44-year-old. "I followed the events with great sadness.

"I was disappointed by the results and I was particularly shocked by some behaviour.


"Those responsible are many but it's not up to me to say if sanctions will be taken. My problem is to put together the best team with the best players. I won't be the bogeyman."

However, Blanc refused to rule out the possibility of discarding older players such as Thierry Henry, William Gallas or Sidney Govou.

"We could do it but you'd [the media] be the first to say that the France team is not winning," he added.

"I'm here to win, it's a delicate situation and a lot of discussion is needed."

Former Manchester United defender Blanc earned his managerial reputation after guiding Bordeaux to the domestic league and cup Double in France in 2009.

He also oversaw an impressive Champions League campaign the following season, leading the French club to the quarter-finals in 2010.

Blanc signed a two-year contract last Friday and will lead France through qualification for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

He also confirmed Henri Emile will return as team administrator, the post he had held from 1984 until Domenech's appointment in 2004.

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see also
Blanc appointed new France boss
02 Jul 10 |  Internationals
Fifa chief warns French president
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
French politicians deny meddling
30 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
French chief quits after 'fiasco'
28 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
French government in finals probe
25 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
France players return to training
21 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
France squad statement in full
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Anelka row sparks player revolt
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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