France boss upset at stadium choice for Scots

August 9, 2007

France coach Raymond Domenech fears his side will give away an advantage in next month's Euro 2008 qualifier against Scotland by playing the match at the Parc des Princes.

Domenech is disappointed the crunch match will not be played at the larger Stade de France, which has around twice the capacity of Paris St Germain's home stadium.

The Stade de France is being used to host a raft of matches during the Rugby World Cup, forcing the football team to play the September 12 match at the former national stadium.

France have already beaten Italy and Ukraine at the Stade de France in their Group B campaign.

And Domenech said: 'It is a shame that two such important competitions are happening at the same time.'

He told French newspaper Le Parisien: 'I would have preferred to play Scotland at the Stade de France, even if there will be a good atmosphere at the Parc des Princes.

'Just with the flags, we have succeeded in creating a great festival at the Stade de France, with 80,000 vibrant fans.

'The crowd at the France-Italy game were exceptional, as they were at France-Ukraine.

'I prefer an atmosphere with 80,000 rather than 40,000.'

France top Group B by two points from Italy, with Scotland a further point adrift. `Les Bleus' face Italy in Milan on September 8, when Scotland take on Lithuania at Hampden.

Scotland will have to shackle Thierry Henry in Paris four days later and Domenech believes the striker's move from Arsenal to Barcelona will bring the best out of him.

'He is making a step up,' said Domenech. 'At Arsenal, he was the star.

'At Barcelona, he will be a star among other stars, with competition for his place.

'At Arsenal, even an understudy for him was not talked about. In Spain, he is going to have to go beyond what he is capable of doing.

'That is what can make him better. Motivation is lost when there is no competition.

'He is going to have to adapt to other players. I want to see how he is going to play with (Samuel) Eto'o and Ronaldinho.'