Domenech slams seedings after disastrous draw

December 3, 2007

France coach Raymond Domenech blasted Euro 2008 organisers after his side were drawn against Italy having already played the Azzurri in qualifying.

The French were relegated to the fourth pot of seeds - partly as a result of home and away defeats to Scotland in qualifying - and paid the price as they were matched with the Italians, Holland and Romania.

And Domenech described the seedings which saw world champions Italy in pot two as 'crazy'.

'It was not an easy qualification for us and now we have this,' said Domenech.

'I had a gut feeling that it would turn out this way and we have to cope with it. We hope the game against Italy will not decide both of our fates.

'Don't forget Romania finished above Holland in the qualifying competition.

'We couldn't have had it much more difficult. I think the seeding was a bit bizarre to say the least, as was meeting the same team you faced in qualifying which is what has happened to Holland and Romania.

'I'm not the only one who feels like that in terms of the seedings, it's crazy.

'Nothing I hoped for has materialised.'

Domenech's side hammered Italy 3-1 in Paris and took a 0-0 draw away from Milan on their way to securing a place at next summer's finals.

But, with Italy having beaten France on penalties in the World Cup final last year, Domenech would have preferred not to be playing Roberto Donadoni's side for what will be the fourth time in two years.

Domenech warned his men not to become obsessed by Italy, saying: 'Everyone will be talking about France playing Italy again but first we play Romania and then Holland. The Italy match will only be important if we have good results before then.

'We must concentrate on our first two games and not lose sight of the objective. All the teams know they will have to be at the top from the first game and the kick-off of the final phase.

'It's natural that our group captured the attention at the draw because it includes three former winners (France, Italy and Holland).'