Domenech backs Anelka expulsion
France coach Raymond Domenech insisted that the decision to send Nicolas Anelka home was the correct one, despite the row that has emerged. The players returned to training today after they boycotted yesterday's session in protest. They were outraged at the Chelsea striker being banished by the French Football Federation after his row with Domenech became public knowledge. Speaking ahead of the crucial Group A match against South Africa tomorrow, Domenech said: "The sanction is justified and I support the federation. "Nobody should behave in such a way. High level sportsmen have to lead by example." Explaining why he had read out a statement last night on behalf of the players after they refused to train, Domenech said: "It was an aberration. We had to do something. The French people had a right to know. "What I should have said at the end of the message was that I did not support this action. "With the (FFF) president (Jean-Pierre Escalettes) and staff members we tried to convince them it was stupid. I disagreed with the document. What they were doing was unthinkable. "We've wasted a lot of energy. There are no words to explain what has happened. I'm hoping we will now have action on the pitch rather than off it." Sports minister Roselyne Bachelot tonight rounded on France's World Cup players and told them they had tarnished the image of the nation. Acting on the instructions of France president Nicolas Sarkozy, Bachelot confronted the players and then held an impromptu media briefing at the Free Stadium. She said: "I told the players they had tarnished the image of France. It is a morale disaster for French football. "I told them they could no longer be heroes for our children. They have destroyed the dreams of their countrymen, their friends and supporters." Bachelot confirmed an official investigation would be conducted after the tournament and added: "The government has to intervene as the reputation at France is at stake in this case."
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