Blanc drops World Cup squad

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New France coach Laurent Blanc has sensationally suspended all 23 players that were on duty at this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The 1998 world champions were placed into disarray when the squad staged a walk-out after striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home after an incident at the interval during the 2-0 loss to Mexico.

France failed to qualify from Group A under former boss Raymond Domenech and the players' behaviour appalled many back in their homeland.

Blanc will take charge of his first game against Norway in Oslo on August 11 and the former Bordeaux manager recommended that the full squad should not feature, a plea that was accepted by the French Football Association.

A statement on www.fff.fr read:"Laurent Blanc met this Friday, July 23, with the federal council, to whom he presented his staff and his sporting project.

"He also proposed to the federal council, who accepted, not to retain for the friendly against Norway, on Wednesday August 11 in Oslo, any of the 23 players officially selected by the French Football Federation for the World Cup in South Africa.

"Laurent Blanc will release the list of players retained for this match against Norway on Thursday August 5 at 11.30."

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