French Football Coach Laurent Blanc keeps job after race controversy

French Football Coach Laurent Blanc keeps job after race controversy

News Agencies – May 12, 2011

France football coach Laurent Blanc has kept his job after being cleared of wrongdoing in the racial discrimination controversy. The French Football Federation said that it “renews its entire confidence in Laurent Blanc”. Blanc attended a meeting in November at which federation members discussed the idea of a quota for players with dual nationality in youth academies. The majority of the players in question are of black or Arab origin. FFF president Fernand Duchaussoy said: “The [FFF’s] federal council has taken note that no discrimination was ever put in place.”

Blaquart used the word “quotas” in the meeting, while Blanc has admitted he also made comments which could “offend some sensibilities”. Influential French great Zinedine Zidane, have offered him their support. Blanc is rebuilding the France team following their disastrous showing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa under former coach Raymond Domenech.

French Football Association investigates ‘Race Quota’

News Agencies – May 3, 2011

An investigation has begun into claims France football coach Laurent Blanc and other coaches discussed informal quotas limiting black and Arab youth players’ involvement in the national set-up.
Technical director Francois Blaquart, one of those to be questioned, is suspended pending the probe’s outcome. Blaquart and Blanc have said their comments were taken out of context. News sources claimed that Blaquart proposed secretly limiting the proportion of black and North African players to 30% at certain regional youth training centres, including the renowned Clairefontaine facility.
Blanc is alleged to have agreed with the plan in order to promote players with “our culture, our history”. The story has provoked reaction amongst ex-France internationals. Former defender Lilian Thuram, a team-mate of Blanc’s in the 1998 World Cup winning team, has spoken of his shock at the idea of quotas, while Basile Boli said it was “impossible” to support Blanc.