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Thursday, July 1, 2010
French government denies interfering

Soccernet staff

The French government has denied claims it has interfered with its football federation after warnings issued by FIFA.

• Forum: Should politicians stay out?

There were suggestions Roselyne Bachelot, the sports minister, had played a part in the resignation of Jean-Pierre Escalettes as president of the French Football Federation on Monday, but that was denied by a government spokesman.

"She indeed indicated that she personally believed his resignation was unavoidable but she did not ask for his resignation," he said. "There was never any question of the French government interfering in the affairs of the French Football Federation."

On Wednesday, outgoing coach Raymond Domenech along with Escalettes appeared before a parliamentary commission to explain what went wrong in South Africa.

"It is normal for members of parliament to try to find out exactly what happened because it is a topic that preoccupies French people," the spokesman added.

FIFA has past history of punishing federations for perceived political interference. Greece were European champions when they were suspended for several days in 2006; Iraq served a suspension in 2008; and Ethiopia were kicked out of their qualifying group for the 2010 World Cup.

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