With this statement, all players of French National Team, without exception, assert their opposition to the decision taken by the French Football Federation to exclude Nicolas Anelka from the squad. If we regret the incident that occurred at halftime during the match between France and Mexico, we regret even more this use of an event that belongs to our group, and which is inherent to the life of a high level team. At the group’s request, the player in question made an attempt at dialogue, but his approach was deliberately ignored. For its part, the French Football Federation has at no time tried to protect the team. It made this decision without consulting the players, on the basis of the facts reported by the press alone. Accordingly, and to mark out their opposition to the highest level of French football, all of the players decided not to participate in the workout. Out of respect for the public who came to attend this practice session, we decided to only attend the meeting with the fans, who by their presence bring us their full support. For our part, we are aware of our responsibilities, those of wearing the colors of our country, as well as those we have towards our fans and their leaders, toward educators, volunteers and the countless children who look up to Les Bleus as role models. For our part, we forget none of our responsibilities. We will do everything we can as individuals, of course, but with a collective spirit so that France can recover its honor on Tuesday evening with, finally, a positive performance.
The statement was read by Domenech (see this Canal + story). Apparently Jean-Louis Valentin, the FFF’s team deputy director, responded to the cancellation of the public practice session in anger and declared he was going back to Paris and resigning his position “in disgust”. For the story (in French), see L’