French 'idiots'

Aidan Fitzmaurice

MICHEL PLATINI has broken his silence on France's performance at the World Cup finals and has labelled Raymond Domenech's team as "idiots".

French football, despite last month's morale-boosting win over England, is still coming to terms with the events of last summer in South Africa and today UEFA president Platini - a former manager and captain of the French side - has spoken his mind about what happened.

"They are useless idiots, you cannot mess about with the image of the national team," Plaitini said in relation to the French side which flopped so miserably in South Africa.

"I would have been a lot tougher on the players who went on strike, I would have banned them for life. I made sure to be out of media contact after the World Cup, had I spoken then I would have slaughtered the players. We did not have a good team, and we do not have a good generation of players at the moment.

"My one criticism of Raymond Domenech is that his communications were crap. He protected his players but they let him down," added Platini.

Meanwhile Liam Lawrence has insisted that he will be joining Portsmouth on a three-year deal in January. The Ireland winger is currently on loan to Pompey from Stoke but despite talk that he would return to Stoke - or be sold on to another club - Lawrence says there's no doubt in his mind that he's staying on long-term.

"People keep questioning me about whether I am signing in January. Obviously, because I am still classed as a loan, no-one knows what is going on," he says. "But I have signed and as soon as the clock ticks over on January 1, I will be automatic. I have already signed the papers."