Domenech’s Wagging Finger

Last Sunday I got a text message on my mobile “Latest from FIFA 2010: On Monday, Portugal meet Korea in Cape Town. On Tuesday, Spain meet Italy in Johannesburg and on Wednesday, England meet France at the Airport”.

I really felt it was cruel joke, but the last week showed how increasingly unpredictable this year’s edition of FIFA World Cup has been, with so many upsets at the tournament. With a 1-0 win against Slovenia, Fabio Capello’s England, however, scraped through to the second round.

But this week saw for the first time both finalists of a preceding World Cup failing to enter the last 16. Italy the defending champions of 2006 edition bowed out of the competition after their 3-2 loss to first–timers, Slovakia. With only 2 points against their name and no wins in their group games, Italy lost in the first round only for the fourth time in the history of World Cup.

However exit of France, the 1998 World Cup Winner and 2006 World Cup Runner Up, was a mutinous disgrace.  After the crushing 2-1 defeat against hosts South Africa, France coach Raymond Domenech said he felt a “genuine sense of sadness” about his teams exist. But Domenech’s refusal to shake the hand of South Africa coach after the game was un-befitting of a coach and has brought the unpopular coach’s six-year reign to a suitably contentious end.

The 58-year-old Domenech, never popular with players or fans since taking over in 2004, has left his job with his reputation at the lowest. (Laurent Blanc was named Domenech’s successor before the tournament even started.) The coach who oversaw the French campaign to the final of the 2006 World Cup also oversaw a catastrophic end to this years campaign, which saw star striker Nicolas Anelka sent home in disgrace after a foul-mouthed triad against him, followed by a players’ strike over the expulsion and finally team’s sponsors abandoning them.

On Tuesday, once the final whistle blew, when South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira began the customary ritual of shaking hands with those around him, offered his hand and a smile, Domenech shook his finger at him and tried to walk away.

But post match, the colourful yet controversial coach refused to discuss the incident. He said despite the rancour in the camp over the past week he had greeted his players, at the end of the match. He praised the players for their efforts. He said no player had refused to play though he made several changes, including dropping Captain Patrick Viera to the bench in  the crucial match.

The Manchester United defender had been at the center of drama last Sunday, when the squad refused to train at their base in Knysna to protest against the expulsion of Chelsea’s Nicolas Anelka.

Video : Courtesy YouTube

  1. Dear Cherian,

    Nice articles. I am glad you are doing what is very close to your heart. Keep them coming.



  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: