FIFA World Cup 2010: France's Refusal To Train Is Despicable

Brittni MichaelisContributor IIJune 20, 2010

POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 17: A lone French flag flies during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group A match between France and Mexico at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on June 17, 2010 in Polokwane, South Africa.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

A National team is refusing to train all because a player was sent home due to his lack of respect and hustle.

According to reports, France's World Cup team refused to train on Sunday because of striker Nicolas Anelka's dismissal from the team following a heated exchange between player and French coach Raymond Domenech.

Domenech spoke to the media and relayed a message from the players who stated that, "The French Football Federation did not at any time try to protect the group. They took a decision uniquely based on facts reported by the press. As a consequence and to show our opposition to the decision taken by officials of the federation, all the players decided not to take part in today's training session."

Are you kidding me? Over Anelka's departure?

Anelka the same guy who can been seen walking, not hustling, and playing overall terrible soccer in your team's 0-2 loss to Mexico. Anelka who then disrespected your coach in what is reported to be, "a profanity laced tirade." You are defending a player who single-handedly exposed exactly what not to do: play poorly in a World Cup, seemingly not try, then disrespect your coach.

I'm not quite sure what the French are thinking.

This game and tournament is bigger than any of those players on the roster. It is a chance to play for your country and represent fans everywhere. To perform on the biggest stage of football in the world, and these players could care less. 

I'm disgusted with their behavior and apparently I'm not the only one. France's team director, Jean-Louis Valentin resigned on Sunday and left camp. Valentin said, "It's a scandal for the French, for the young people here. It's a scandal for the federation and the French team. They don't want to train. It's unacceptable. As for me, it's over. I'm leaving the federation. I'm sickened and disgusted." 

And Valetin is right. They are letting 65 million people down in France alone, and probably more considering they have fans all around the world. To refuse to respect all the hard work people have put into getting you to the World Cup is unheard of. All the coaches, fans, people who have traveled to watch you, and you refuse to train?

Not playing your best soccer is one thing, people will forgive, but to down right refuse to train is absurd. Not only do the players look like idiots on a National stage. But protesting over a player who was walking, yes walking after the ball in your game against Mexico makes me question your sanity. So what he left? 

Maybe he was a good friend of yours and added to the team chemistry, but that doesn't excuse his behavior. Especially his refusal to apologize. 

But you move on. Champions are created after hard work is put in and you overcome hardship and adversity. The French certainly don't have any qualities of a championship team at the moment.

Will that change?

I don't think anyone knows but for right now the French need to get over themselves. They need to put their egos aside and play for the name and colors on their jersey. They are millions of kids who would kill to be in their position and they are just throwing it away. 

To salvage this World Cup, this prestigious tournament that only occurs once every four years, I suggest the French start playing as a team. Put aside whatever you think about yourself, how good you think you are, how much money you think you should be paid, and start playing for your country. Have some pride and respect.