Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
ZINEDINE Zidane is disappointed by France's on-field performances at the World Cup and does not agree with the team's actions off it.
However, the former captain of France believes that they can win their last Group A game against South Africa.
Zidane was talking at a press conference in Sandton City, Johannesburg, yesterday. A member of France's 1998 winning World Cup team, Zidane said France's players should have trained on Sunday instead of boycotting practice in protest at Nicolas Anelka's expulsion from the squad.
While he labelled France's situation "sad," he does believe a victory today will help it get past its current predicament.
"This team has the possibility to get over this obstacle with this match. Everything can change for them," Zidane said. He said
France remained in contention for the title. "I hope they can still get out of this group. There is hope even if everything that has been said up to now is the opposite," he said.
France and South Africa have one point each from two matches and will not progress if Mexico and Uruguay - both on four points - draw in their last Group A match.
Zidane said he could see a positive in defeat - it could shake the team clean of all of its problems with a coaching change imminent.
"If they lose, there's a new coach in Laurent Blanc who will change all of this. I don't think you can blame one player or another, but Laurent Blanc's arrival will change everything that is happening within the team," Zidane said.
The public rifts between France's players, coaches and national officials over Anelka, who was thrown out of the squad for insulting team coach Raymond Domenech, should never have happened, said Zidane.
"Nobody agrees with what he said or did. I can't defend the fact that it came out. In a locker room a lot of things are said, but they should never come out," he said.
Lucas Radebe, who also spoke at the event alongside Zidane, hoped South Africa could capitalise on France's problems while avoiding its own internal imploding.
"You know how important this next match is so I hope there are no problems - we can't copy France outside the field of play," said Radebe, who played against Zidane at the 1998 finals.
"We know France has problems, but that's not our problem. We have to focus on our team. That can be an advantage for us." - Sapa-AP