French Soccer Players Refuse to Practice

French Press Condemns Actions

Today, the French press is unanimously railing against the players, team coach Raymond Domenech and the French soccer federation for a crisis that all agree has brought shame to the sport and the nation.

"Clearly, there is nothing to expect from these Bleus," read an article in France Soir newspaper, headlined "Deserters." " Their achievement is shameful. France is the laughing stock of the world" said the French newspaper.

"French soccer has hit rock bottom. No one is going to forget what happened last weekend," read an article in Le Figaro newspaper.

Le Parisien newspaper called it "The Mutiny," saying, "This French team makes us feel so ashamed. To have the worst soccer team at the World Cup was already unbearable. To also have the most stupid is simply intolerable."

On French streets, reactions are one of consternation.

"This is outrageous," Mathias Marchandise told ABC News in Levallois-Perret, a suburb west of Paris. "This French squad is made of totally disrespectful people, they have no education, no culture, no manners."

"This is pitiful" said Jean-Baptiste Pintzon du Sen. "They are paid millions, they can't play and they are throwing a tantrum. They're spoiled rotten children."

Team sponsors today began distancing themselves from the French team. French bank Credit Agricole said today it cancelled its television campaign with the team, which had been slated to end on June 25. And fast-food chain Quick decided over the weekend to stop using a TV ad featuring Anelka.

French Team Returns to Practice Field

Les Bleus resumed practice this morning as though nothing had happened. The team is scheduled to travel to Bloemfontein this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's South Africa game.

France, which lost in the World Cup final in 2006 and won the tournament in 1998, still has a slight chance to qualify for the second round of the tournament. If Uruguay and Mexico, who top France's group with four points each, draw their match, France and South Africa will be eliminated.

But in several complicated scenarios, France would need to beat South Africa's Bafana Bafana by four to five goals to advance in the tournament. This would seem a difficult task to accomplish, considering they've only mustered one goal in the last four games.

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