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June 21, 2010

President Sarkozy intervenes in crisis

By Soccernet staff

French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot has revealed President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked her to extend her stay in South Africa to try to sort out the shambles engulfing the French squad.

Nicolas Sarkozy
GettyImagesNicolas Sarkozy has asked French sports minister Roselyne Bachelot to remain in South Africa.

• French refuse to train
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She will meet with Patrice Evra, Raymond Domenech and French Football Federation (FFF) chief Jean-Pierre Escalettes on Monday.

"We are taking note of the indignation of the French people," she said. "We are calling for dignity and responsibility." Asked if she would be taking immediate action against any of those involved, she replied: "It's not yet the right time to take disciplinary action - but that time will come very soon."

"We're in another world here," Christian Teinturier, the vice president of the FFF, told reporters. "French football is in a catastrophic situation."

"Everyone in the whole world is mocking us now,'' winger Franck Ribery said. "I'm gutted, because we're not playing football anymore.''

While other countries' coaches have looked on in bewilderment and kept their thoughts to themselves, one, Switzerland's Ottmar Hitzfeld, said the conduct of the French players was bewildering. "What can I say? If something like this happens, I am going to say bye," he said. "This is where our paths part."