Squad refuses to train, Valentin quits
The crisis enveloping the France squad is deepening as the players refused to train on Sunday in protest at the decision to send Nicolas Anelka home.
Patrice Evra rowed with a fitness coach.
A member of the France coaching staff has walked out while team director Jean-Louis Valentin has resigned, saying he is "sickened and disgusted".
In a statement read by Raymond Domenech, the players said: "All the players in the France squad without exception want to declare their opposition to the decision taken by the French Football Federation to exclude Nicolas Anelka from the squad.
"If we regret the incident which occurred at half-time of the match between France and Mexico, we regret even more the leak of an event which should have remained within the group and which is quite common in a high-level team. At the request of the squad, the player in question attempted to have dialogue but his approach was ignored.
"For its part, the French Football Federation (FFF) has at no time tried to protect the squad. It has made a decision (to send Anelka home) without consulting all the players, on the basis of the facts reported by the press. Accordingly, and to mark the opposition to those at the highest level of French football, all the players decided not to train today.
"Out of respect for the public who came to attend training, we decided to go to meet the fans who, by their presence, showed their full support. For our part, we are aware of our responsibilities as those wearing the colours of our country. Also for those we have towards our fans and countless children who keep Les Bleus as role models.
"We forget none of our duties. We will do everything individually and also in a collective spirit to ensure that France regains its honour with a positive performance on Tuesday.''
However, the FFF responded with a damning verdict on the players' behaviour.
''The French delegation and its president Jean-Pierre Escalettes have noted with dismay the refusal of the French players to participate in training today,'' a statement said. ''This action is an unacceptable consequence of the eviction of Nicolas Anelka which they feel is injustice.
''Contrary to what the players said, this sanction was taken following a long conversation with the person in the presence of the captain. The FFF, speaking through its president, apologise to the country for the unacceptable conduct of the players that our representing our country.
''A federal council shall be convened immediately on the completion of the French team's campaign to draw all the conclusions of the crisis that has been created.''
Just 24 hours after Anelka was sent home in disgrace after launching a tirade of abuse at Domenech at half-time in the defeat to Mexico, captain Patrice Evra was involved in a heated row with fitness coach Robert Duverne.
Evra was furious after someone from within the France camp leaked the Anelka story to L'Equipe, with the striker telling Domenech "go screw yourself, dirty son of a whore". It is speculated that Evra was trying to find out the identity of the mole.
On arriving at the training ground, the squad had left the bus to chat to supporters - but Evra and Domenech stayed on board. When they did finally leave the bus Evra confronted Duverne.
Domenech stepped in to try and break up the row, but Duverne stormed off the training pitch and threw his accreditation badge to the ground. Evra then handed a letter to the France press manager, and the France squad got back on the team coach and drew the curtains, refusing to take part in the scheduled training session.
France team director Jean-Louis Valentin confirmed the stories, saying he was "ashamed" by the behaviour of the players. Valentin has quit his job as the head of the France team and will now fly home.
"It's a scandal for the French, for the young people here. It's a scandal for the federation and the French team," Valentin said. "They don't want to train. It's unacceptable.
"As for me, it's over. I'm leaving the federation. I'm sickened and disgusted. Under these conditions, I've decided to return to Paris and to resign.''
Valentin then got into a car and drove off.
Duverne has denied being the mole. Speaking to RMC sports, he said: "I deny reports that Patrice Evra would have said I was the traitor. I talked to Raymond Domenech on behalf of the players, including Patrice Evra.
"I have children and I don't want to be sullied by rumours that I am the traitor or the mole.''
In explaining his row with Evra, he added: "Patrice Evra came to tell me that the players were not going to participate in training. I was angry because we play a big game in two days and we have no right to destroy our last chance. We are in a difficult situation but it is not impossible.''
Domenech, who will be replaced by Laurent Blanc ahead of the European Championship qualifiers which begin later this year, has completely lost control of the France squad with a series of high profile fall-outs in recent months.
France can still, mathematically at least, qualify for the second round with victory over hosts South Africa in Tuesday's group decider, but a draw between Uruguay and Mexico would eliminate the 1998 winners. France's desire to score a goal, let alone win a match, must now be in serious doubt.