Minister: France still reeling from World Cup collapse

French sports minister Chantal Jouanno has blamed her country’s infamous implosion at last year’s World Cup on a “problem of governance” and admits the wounds from South Africa have not yet healed.

French sports minister Chantal Jouanno has blamed her country’s infamous implosion at last year’s World Cup on a “problem of governance” and admits the wounds from South Africa have not yet healed.

Raymond Domenech’s side infamously crashed out in the group stages after a campaign beset by internal squabbles.

Defender William Gallas reportedly fell out with his team-mates after being overlooked for the captaincy, before striker Nicolas Anelka was banished following a spiteful row with Domenech.

The entire team then proceeded to stage a protest, before slumping out of the tournament at the first hurdle with the French Football Federation criticised for their handling of the affair.

Domenech has since been replaced by Laurent Blanc and all players involved in the dispute received suspensions from the national team of varying lengths. However, Jouanno, who came into office after the controversy, admits there are still major issues to deal with.

She told Press Association Sport: “Considering the World Cup, we still have to deal with the controversy, unfortunately. Because nothing is solved today.

“It showed we had a problem of governance in our federation, like in federations in other countries. This is not something specific to France, it was just higher profile.

“So we will change the governance and they (ministers) have to vote on it next month, in April.

“We must also administer more strongly the value of sport. The problem is that ministers want to be on the picture but they don’t want to strongly talk about the value of sport.

“If we don’t promote and support the value of sport then we are not ministers. We should do something else.”

As France bids to bring the 2018 Winter Olympics to Annecy – still irked by London’s defeat of Paris to hold next year’s summer Games – Jouanno is attempting to centralise and update her country’s system for handling such matters.

“What I realised when I arrived is that we did not listen to our previous failures,” she said at the Global Sports Forum in Barcelona.

“We will create a kind of agency or international office to make debriefings after the bid, to create an international network of French sportsmen and bidders, and also to have an international strategy for which countries we want to work with plus which kind of sport we want to promote.

“Today we don’t have it, so it is kind of overdue.”

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