France coach Laurent Blanc resigns

July 1st, 2012 - 7:48 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, July 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) French coach Laurent Blanc has left his job after refusing an extension to his contract, which expires Sunday, the French Football Federation said.

France lost 2-0 to reigning champions Spain in the Euro 2012 quarterfinal, but Blanc said afterwards that France could have beaten their more illustrious opposition.

Blanc mulled over a two-year contract offer before refusing, the federation said.

“Within the period provided for reflection, Laurent Blanc contacted on Saturday the president of the FFF, Noel Le Graet, to indicate his decision not to seek the renewal of his contract as national team coach,” the federation said in a website statement.

Federation chief Noel Le Graet had expressed a desire to retain Blanc as coach, saying that the quarterfinal was not a failure, and praised the atmosphere in the dressing room.

Blanc, 46, succeeded Raymond Domenech after France’s disastrous 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where France finished last in their group with one point from three games.

He immediately dropped all 23 players from the World Cup squad for his first game as collective punishment.

Blanc proceeded to lead France to Euro 2012 with a lengthy unbeaten run that ended after 23 games with a 2-0 group stage defeat to Sweden.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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