Op-Ed: France's final World Cup humiliation

Posted Jun 23, 2010 by Johnny Summerton
French manager Raymond Domenech refused to shake hands with South Africa's coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and later dismissed journalists' questions on the subject. The incident occurred after South Africa beat France in its last World Cup match.
Raymond Domenech refuses to shake hands with  Carlos Alberto Parreira (screenshot La Matinale)
Raymond Domenech refuses to shake hands with Carlos Alberto Parreira (screenshot La Matinale)
It was perhaps the final humiliation for the end of a catastrophic World Cup campaign for France.
Manager Raymond Domenech not only refused to shake hands with Carlos Alberto Parreira at the end of a match which had seen South Africa beat France 2-1, but he also displayed arrogant behaviour in front of journalists from around the world at the press conference afterwards.
When one journalist asked him why he hadn't shaken hands with Parreira and whether he had been ashamed at the behaviour of his players during the tournament, Domenech said he had understood but had already answered the question.
"I don't have the intention of replying," he replied. "Is there another question?"
There was that audible silence in the room (apart from the sound of those omnipresent vuvuzelas in the background), the sort you would probably expect from those clearly nonplussed by the response.
But it didn't stop another journalist trying a slightly different approach.
"Sorry, it is the same question," he said.
"Why is it you don't want to answer why you didn't shake the hand of Mr Parreira?" he asked.
To which Domenech in all his glorious arrogance replied, "Is there another question?"
You can see the exchange here at 39:32 in the second segment of the morning news magazine La Matinale on Canal +.
Over the past week there has of course been much talk in the domestic and international media about the lack of respect shown by the French players towards fans, especially in light of their refusal to train last weekend, and the failure of the French Football Federation to put its house in order and sending home striker Nicolas Anelka for allegedly verbally insulting Domenech at halftime during a 2-0 defeat to Mexico last Thursday.
But should any of us really be surprised when the man at the helm proves himself to be equally lacking in humility and manners?
By the way, the likely explanation for Domenech's refusal to shake hands was his displeasure over Parreira's remarks after the World Cup draw last year when he said that France owed their qualification to that infamous play-off goal created by Thierry Henry’s handball.