France may have been booed rather profusely over the course of the last calendar year but Raymond Domenech remains typically unmoved by the reaction of the fans.
“Throughout history, people have booed - they boo the president of the Republic in the stands. It is a national principle,” he stated to national daily Metro. “They want a champion each time.
“Remember the match against Norway in Marseille before the World Cup 1998? The players were whistled for 90 minutes.”
Domenech recalls this encounter because les Bleus are closing in on their preparations for the 2010 version of the competition, though their qualifying path has not always been easy, and even their qualification remains far from assured. Despite this, the controversial coach holds high hopes for his side.
“We'll have to find a generation that gives us something,” he said. “When you have players like Karim [Benzema], Yoann [Gourcuff] and Franck [Ribery], who will be the engine of the team, we can have hope.”
Reverting back to the matter at hand, Domenech explained that the crowd had the right to jeer, but only after the result is determined.
“People are transformed in the stadium, that bothers me,” he said. “Let us whistle at the end of the match, when the result is determined.
“If I paid for a show that I thought was bad, I’d have the right to boo, but not during the game, film or play.”
Domenech will certainly be praying he doesn’t hear any boos at around 22:45 CET on Saturday evening – if he does, it will likely mean France’s automatic qualification hopes for South Africa have been ended.
Robin Bairner, Goal.com