the Blues, a preparation upside down

63 days before the first match of the World Cup against Australia on November 22, the picture is not very encouraging. Better now than later, the pragmatists will point out, although this two-game rally – against Austria on Thursday and in Denmark on Sunday – was not without its stakes either. He is the last before the planetary competition for which Deschamps will recover his players four days before departure in Qatar. The Blues, last of their group before the last two days, must also ensure maintenance in League A of the League of Nations. Without, they would face second-class opponents, with a shortfall ranging from 750,000 euros to… 9 million euros for the French Federation over 2023-2024.

The weakened Graët

The accounts of the FFF, for whom a victory in the League of Nations is an unbudgeted bonus, will recover. But it would be a new cobblestone in a very full pond. A survey published in the magazine SoFoot, (re) highlighting dissension and a tense working climate within the body, also mentioned, on the basis of anonymous testimonies, cases of harassment and text messages of a sexual nature sent by President Noël Le Graët to former employees. The FFF counterattacked by filing a complaint for defamation. The Ministry of Sports has launched an audit.

“Image rights are a subject that affects players and can fragment a group”

What is the weight of the context in the way in which Le Graët, unaccustomed to giving up his positions, let go of the showdown launched by Kylian Mbappé in the image rights file? He was able to weigh, like the presence of Didier Deschamps at the improvised meeting on Monday with the federal boss, the marketing manager and the tricolor executives. The background is not settled, but opening the door to changes has made it possible to avoid a front line among the players. “These are subjects that affect them and which can fragment a group if they do not all agree, analyzes former coach Elie Baup. The worries of the leaders, it affects more the technical executives, who can wonder about the consequences for them. The players are in their personal project. »

Before Euro 2016, already

A preparation against a backdrop of controversy: during his 10 years as coach, Didier Deschamps has already known, even on the front line. After the non-selection of Karim Benzema following the affair of the « sextape », the acerbic interview of the Madrilenian in Marca, the attack on Eric Cantona, and the tags on his vacation home in Brittany had vampirized the approach to Euro-2016. Deschamps had faced, supported by Noël Le Graët. The Blues had gone to the final. This time, « DD » will have to do without a strong president and put its players in a fragile bubble if the first results were negative. « Conversely, all that can also bring them together and I think Didier (Deschamps) will play on that, » said former international Yannick Stopyra.

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