France coach Raymond Domenech has labelled his players as "imbecilic" for refusing to take part in a training session on Sunday.
The squad insisted they were simply standing up for Nicolas Anelka, who was sent home on Saturday following his half-time row with Domenech during last Thursday's 2-0 defeat by Mexico.
However, French football fans have slammed the players, and Domenech can understand their reaction, saying:"I tried to convince the players of the foolishness, their imbecility and the unprecedented stupidity of what they were about to do.
"I then resolved to stop this masquerade there and then I took (the statement) and went out.
"I completely support the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka. Nobody can be allowed to act in this manner, whether in the dressing room or anywhere else. High-level sportsmen have a duty to set an example. I have always chosen the team and nobody will ever tell me who to pick and who not to.
"Has our reputation been tarnished? That will depend on the outcome of the match (against South Africa).
"It is up to the players to realise the magnitude of what they have done. They have to play their hearts out. They have to show they love football and the French team."