LE BOURGET - France's team
returned to Paris under heavy police protection on Thursday
after their humiliating first-round exit from the World Cup.
The plane chartered by the French Federation landed at Le
Bourget business airport, 20 km north of Paris, after a 15-hour
flight from South Africa.
GEAR: French World Cup fashion
A smattering of supporters were kept at a distance and
dozens of photographers, cameramen and journalists were penned
behind a wire fence.
Some of the players went straight into two coaches with
darkened windows which left the airport through a back entrance.
Witnesses said the Olympique Lyon players and Franck Ribery
flew out on in two private planes without going through the
Team captain Thierry Henry is expected later at the Elysee
Palace for a meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, a
government spokesman said.
Les Bleus' World Cup campaign, marred by infighting and the
boycott of a training session, ended on Tuesday with a 2-1
defeat by hosts South Africa that left them bottom of Group A
without a win.
Their failure has turned into an affair of state.
On Wednesday, Sarkozy called for a wholesale review of
French soccer after chairing a government meeting and Sports
minister Roselyne said on Thursday "the resignation of French
Federation chairman, Jean-Pierre Escalettes was unavoidable."
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