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Malouda apologies to France fans
Published : 23 Jun 2010 11:19:00
France winger Florent Malouda has apologised to Les Bleus fans for the nation's shocking 2010 World Cup finals campaign. After scraping through the play-offs against Republic of Ireland things went from bad to worse for the 2006 runners-up. Although Les Bleus drew their opener with Uruguay they lost their remaining two Group A matches with Mexico and South Africa. Controversy erupted following their 2-0 defeat to Mexico after Nicolas Anelka was sent home for failing to apologise for Raymond Domenech. France's squad took exception to Anelka's punishment by refusing to train on Sunday, actions that failed to sit well with the French Football Federation (FFF). "I want to apologise to the French fans in the name of the players for our poor run," he told L'Equipe. "We are not proud of what we've done. Maybe we didn't have exemplary behaviour. I don't know how we'll be forgiven. "It's been a complete disaster. This isn't what we wanted to show. We didn't want to flout our colours. "Patrice Evra wanted to hold a press conference before the last match, but he was told it was not the right time. "After Anelka's exclusion maybe we reacted badly by striking, but we didn't appreciate seeing him blamed for the group's responsibility. "Frankly there was no one poor individual in the group. Nico is not a lot, and there was no traitor in the squad. "We were the victims of poor decisions under pressure. We cracked. "I don't want to end my career in a Les Bleus shirt, but we have to think about the reasons behind the failure and talk about it with the new coach." FFF chairman Jean-Pierre Escalettes, who has been criticised for being unable to manage the crisis, insists he will not resign. Laurent Blanc is set to replace Domenech this summer and Escalettes is backing the Bordeaux coach to revive the nation's fortunes. "I have two feelings, shame and sadness, but I tell myself I can't give up in a crisis. I won't leave. I'll leave if I have to, if I'm asked. "We'll gather the federal council early in July to establish everyone's responsibility. "What fills me with consternation is what happened last weekend. 50 years of values have collapsed. "French Football is not dead. The future is Laurent Blanc. I have full trust in Blanc to rebuild. The task will be difficult but won't scare him."