Wednesday 24 January 2018

The Rebels: Agitators left on the bench

1 Thierry Henry

The members of the French 'rebellion' joined together as they watch yesterday's defeat to South Africa from the bench. Henry was named as a leader of the revolt that saw France refuse to train on Sunday in protest at manager Raymond Domenech's decision to expel Nicolas Anelka from the squad. Team director Jean-Louis Valentin has since resigned.

2 Patrice Evra

The Manchester United defender had a heated confrontation on the training pitch with fitness coach Robert Duverne, calling him a "traitor" for leaking Anelka's insults to the press. In the resulting row, Duverne had to be restrained by Domenech and the coach eventually stormed off, angrily hurling away his stopwatch and accreditation badge.

3 Florent Malouda

France's sole goalscorer is a firm supporter of Anelka, describing him as "a man whom I would trust with my eyes shut." Malouda has a poor relationship with Domenech, having been cut from France's group opener for being overly aggressive in training and being axed at the start of the qualifying campaign for speaking out against the way the team was run.

4 Eric Abidal

Another of the elder statesmen blamed for the uprising. French official Henri Monteil claimed Abidal, Henry and William Gallas led younger players astray. The young stars involved in the affair were reported to have returned to Domenech in tears to apologise.

Irish Independent

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