Saturday 24 February 2018

Blanc set to keep France job as probe clears him of racism

John Lichfield

Former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc is expected to stay in his job as France coach after being officially cleared of making racist remarks during a discussion on racial quotas in schoolboy training schemes last year.

French sports minister Chantal Jouanno said yesterday that comments made by Blanc in private about the power and speed of "black" players were "both clumsy and clearly uncalled-for."

She said, however, that an investigation by her ministry had found no evidence that Blanc, or other senior France officials, were racist or had implemented a suggested quota scheme for young players with dual nationality.

Similar conclusions were reached by a separate investigation by the French Football Federation (FFF) and Blanc -- who took over a scandal-riven France squad last summer -- is expected to continue in his job.

It is unclear whether FFF director of football Francois Blaquart, who was suspended, will be reinstated.

At a meeting of the FFF national technical committee on November 8, Blaquart suggested that there should be an unspoken policy of quotas to limit the number of "bi-national" players invited to national training schemes for boys aged 11 to 16.

Blanc told the meeting that day, among other things: "You have the feeling that we are producing really only one prototype of player: big, strong, fast... And who are the big, strong, fast players? The blacks. That's the way things are today."

Blanc, who everyone accepts is not a racist, is said to be "furious with himself" that he made the remarks. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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