World Cup Trouble for France as Team Refuse to Train

In danger of elimination from the World Cup, 2006 finalists France strengthened speculations that all is not well within the squad, as the players cut short their scheduled practice after a spat between captain Patrice Evra and fitness coach Robert Duverne.

Evra had just come from a long talk with coach Raymond Domenech inside the team bus when the French skipper had a heated argument with Duverne, who was on the field putting down training cones at the time. Duverne walked off steaming from the field after Domenech tried to pacify him and Evra. The players then boarded the team bus after Evra gave a letter to the squad’s press officer.

The internal commotion is the second in two days for the French team. A day earlier, striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home after insulting Domenech. France, the 1998 champions, are in a precarious position after drawing with Uruguay and losing 2-0 to Mexico. They still have a chance of advancing to the knockout phase if they can beat hosts South Africa on June 22 and the Uruguay-Mexico match on the same day does not end in a draw.