Domenech faces uncertain future

Chatel-Saint-Denis, June 18:

Raymond Domenech’s reign as France coach looks to be nearing an end after two former French internationals called on him to quit on Wednesday, one day after the team’s first exit in the group stage at the European Championship since 1992.

France lost 2-0 to Italy on Tuesday to finish last in Group C following a 4-1 defeat to the Netherlands and a 0-0 draw with Romania. The French football federation described the team’s exit as a “premature elimination,” but said no decision on Domenech’s future will be made until its July 3 board meeting.

That’s not soon enough for former France defenders Bixente Lizarazu and Marcel Desailly. “It’s very clear, after an exit like that, there will be a new coach,” Lizarazu said. “That’s the least that should happen. High-level football does not forgive this. Players are not forgiven for having bad matches, so it’s a logical sanction.”

Domenech refused to answer questions over whether he will step down. Lizarazu wants Didier Deschamps to take over. “Deschamps seems to be the ideal coach,” Lizarazu said. “He has the experience of the highest level, he has experience with the French team, and has experience as coach of Juventus and Monaco.” Desailly thinks former France midfielder Jean Tigana would also be a good choice.