Domenech to lead Les Bleus to 2010 World Cup

29th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 29, 2006 (AFP) - France coach Raymond Domenech has been given a contract which will keep him with the world finalists until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

PARIS, Sept 29, 2006 (AFP) - France coach Raymond Domenech has been given a contract which will keep him with the world finalists until the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Bleus boss was offered a new contract two days after the World Cup final which France lost to Italy on penalties but the federal council of the French Football Federation (FFF) had not yet decided on its length.

"The federal council expressed their backing and support for Raymond Domenech," said FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes without giving details of the deal.

"Everything has been done with the utmost professionalism. The length will allow him to fulfill his objectives and to continue the adventure which got off to a good start in Germany."

Domenech, a former coach of the French under-21 side, took over as national coach after Euro 2004 in Portugal when France crashed out in the quarter-finals.

He succeeded Jacques Santini and immediately allowed top players such as Zinedine Zidane, Lilian Thuram and Claude Makelele to retire from international play.

But his refashioned French side struggled through their early World Cup qualifiers and Domenech came in for heavy criticism.

Eventually he had to relent and agree to the return of the retired players who promptly made certain that France would play in the finals in Germany.

They got off to a slow start in their group, but went from strength to strength with Zidane at the helm defeating Spain, Brazil and Portugal on the way to the final.

In Berlin however they endured a heart-breaking loss to Italy 5-3 on penalties after the game had finished tied 1-1 after extra-time.

France are now preparing for Euro 2008 qualifiers against Scotland on October 7 and the Faroe Islands four days later.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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