Europe news

Blanc: France pushed me out

October 4, 2012
By Fabien Perrin, France Correspondent

Laurent Blanc has revealed he had no choice but to end his reign as France coach after the offer of a contract extension failed to materialise.

Laurent Blanc France v Spain
PA PhotosLaurent Blanc has been out of a job since leaving his post as France's boss

Blanc's two-year spell in charge came to an end when he was replaced by Didier Deschamps following Les Bleus' disappointing showing at Euro 2012. And he declared on Wednesday night that he felt unwanted in the position, rather than being affected by his players' bad behaviour during the tournament.

After the European Championship, Blanc met Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation, with the aim of extending his contract until the 2014 World Cup. He wanted to go on for two more years, but an agreement was not forthcoming. "My employer didn't want it," he told Canal +.

"There were two people who could take the decision, the employer [Le Graet] and the employee [Blanc]. When your employer uses time, time and more time, you decide for him. We had a meeting on June 28, but we didn't achieve to find an agreement around the management of France team for the next two seasons."

Blanc finally told the Federation of his decision to quit two days later [on June 30] but insisted the behaviour of some of his players during Euro 2012 "was not an important factor" in his decision. Samir Nasri had lashed out at reporters while Hatem Ben Arfa, Yann M'Vila and Jeremy Menez caused unrest in the dressing room.

After his three-game ban, Manchester City midfielder Nasri could be recalled by current France boss Deschamps for the friendly against Japan and the World Cup qualifying match in Spain but Blanc was keen not to advise his former international team-mate from the 1998 World Cup winning France side on selection.

"That's his call," he said. ''When you are the coach, we have to see everybody give an opinion, those who have skills and those who haven't. I don't want to be like the others."

Later on Thursday it emerged that Nasri had not done enough to earn a place in Deschamps' squad.