PARIS - The disaster that has befallen the France football team at the 2010 World Cup could easily have been prevented if the country's football authorities had fired coach Raymond Domenech in 2008.
Team players, former French internationals, most of the media and the French public wanted the enigmatic and often highly irritating manager sacked.
No one knows if the man named to replace him after the tournament, Laurent Blanc, would have made them a better side.
But the spiral of insult, melodrama and outright mutiny would certainly have been avoided, and the side would not have turned into an embarrassment for the entire nation.
Domenech's bizarre methods, such as selecting or rejecting players because of their astrological signs, inconsistencies and lack of communication all contributed to the fiasco on and off the pitch.
The players refused to train on Sunday in protest against Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka being tossed out of the team for insulting Domenech. But they returned to training yesterday. - Sapa-DPA