JOHANNESBURG - FIFA President Sepp
Blatter warned the French government on Tuesday not to interfere
in the affairs of its football association or the sport's
governing body could suspend France's football federation.
Blatter's threat came a day after French Football Federation
(FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes resigned in the wake of
France's World Cup fiasco.
French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot had said last week
Escalettes's resignation was "unavoidable".
"In France they have made an 'affaire d'Etat' with football,
but football remains in the hands of the federation," Blatter
told reporters on Tuesday.
"French football can rely on FIFA in case of political
interference even if it is at presidential level, it is a clear
"We will help the national association and if cannot be
solved by consultation then the only thing we have is to suspend
France's group stage exit, marred by the players' decision
to boycott a training session in support of expelled striker
Nicolas Anelka, has sparked soul-searching and high-level
meetings in the country.
Such was the national angst in France that President Nicolas
Sarkozy urged a football shakeup and met former team captain
The debate will continue with the news on Tuesday that both
coach Raymond Domenech and Escalettes would be heard by a
parliamentary commission of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The players' boycott came after Anelka was kicked out of the
squad by the FFF for insulting Domenech at half time of a 2-0
defeat by Mexico.
France ended bottom of Group A with a draw and two defeats.
Domenech will be replaced by Laurent Blanc.
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