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Friday, July 2, 2010

A Bad Month for French Sport.... How Do You Say "Road-Kill" in French?

For French sports fans, June had to be a particularly rough month. For the people out there who delight in Gaellic misery, June had to be more fun than a wagon full of puppies.

Where to start? French Rugby  won the 6 Nations this spring and had very decent results in last fall's internationals. In the span of a couple of weeks,  they did not just get beat on the southern hemisphere tours, they got totally dismantled in Cape Town at the hand of the Springboks, and then suffered their worst ever loss to the Pumas in Buenos Aires last week, 41-13 It looks like French Coach Marc Lievremont is going to have to go back to the drawing board after these two dismal displays where he had decent squads on the field who simply did not play with any heart or intensity.

If it's at all possible, France's soccer teams poor play, bitching, back-biting and incompetent coaching brought French soccer to a nadir that has not been seen since they failed to win qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the United States by losing consecutive matches at the Parc de Princes to Israel and Bulgaria. (In the case of the loss to Bulgaria, they gave up a goal in the closing seconds of the match off THEIR own corner kick that Bulgarians cashed in to punch their ticket to the World Cup.)

The French media have been rightfully lambasting the lack of effort by a team that had decent players, but were not able to play together. When striker Nicolas Anelka threw an expletive-filled tirade against befuddled coach Raymond Domenech, the coach banished the whining Chelsea forward to the next plane back to France. The players showed what a bunch of divas that they were by refusing to practice to protest Anelka's removal from the squad. Domenech also showed an utter lack of class by not even shaking hands with his South African counterpart, Carlos Parriera after France lost their last game to South Africa 2-1. France lost to Mexico and South Africa for the first time ever, and had  really dull, drab, listless 0-0 against Uruguay. If there was anybody who had to be more angry than the French soccer fan, it had to be Ireland's national team and their fans who had to watch France qualify for the World Cup on Thierry Henry's hand-ball goal against Ireland that punched France's ticket to South Africa.  Italy certainly failed in a big way by not qualifying for the round of 16 out of an easy group with Slovaka, New Zealand and Paraguay, but France's lack of sportsmanship, class and hustle in South Africa was breathtakingly hideous.

Maybe the French Rugy Federation and the French Football Federation can come up with a new emblem for their sports teams...

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