Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has admitted the decision of the France squad to strike during the World Cup was “completely stupid”.
Les Bleus, led by skipper Patrice Evra, skipped a training session in protest at the decision to send home forward Nicolas Anelka following his dressing-room bust-up with coach Raymond Domenech.
“We acted as a team,” Lloris told L’Equipe. “To strike was the decision of a squad who felt lonely, who believed that no-one had stood up for them and who had a message to convey.
“We went too far. It was a very awkward decision, a big mistake. It was completely stupid. But there were so many problems.”
The decision, coupled with Les Bleus’ early exit following their defeat by hosts South Africa, caused outrage in France, with even politicians getting involved in the row.
Lyon goalkeeper Lloris has now vowed to work with his team-mates to help repair the damage under new coach Laurent Blanc, who has since taken over from Domenech.
“We all want to improve the image of Les Bleus,” he said. “We must make all possible effort, give everything. It’s important for us.
“We must go back to basics – respect for the jersey, of course, the team and the institution of France.
“There are generations rich in potential and a new coach. It must start with a good foundation. We have a great desire that what happened in South Africa should not happen again, that there should be no self-destruction like that any more.”