France boss Didier Deschamps has lashed out at "pathetic" reports that the French football association (FFF) is preparing to fire him if the country does not reach World Cup 2014.
Les Bleus face two playoff qualifiers with Ukraine this month, away Nov. 15 and at home four days later, with the winner set for a place at Brazil and the loser to sit out next summer.
French outlet Liberation had claimed that the FFF was weakening the former Olympique de Marseille boss' position in power so it could fire him if France fails to qualify for the World Cup, with Deschamps issuing an angry response.
"I will use the same word as the [FFF] president used about this article: pathetic," the 45-year-old told Le Parisien. "It is unpleasant, but I do not care. The president was very unhappy. We are not obliged to respond to things unfounded or defamatory."
France finished behind reigning world and European champion Spain in Group I, which meant that it went into the playoff draw but avoided a nightmare tie with Portugal, which instead faces Sweden.