Laurent Blanc needs to resign

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Yannick Noah lends his voice against the quota system
There seems to be no ambivalence or finessing what Laurent Blanc said in those closed door meetings with Francois Blaquart. The words he uttered are not the words of an unwilling participant. These are the words of a person playing the racial divide, of a saboteur, a malcontent.
A high ranking whistleblower in the FFF confirmed what Blanc said even as the French national team manager continued to maintain his words were taken out of context. The chorus of voices expressing outrage continues to grow and has spilled into the larger sports community with Yannick Noah joining in. Blanc’s words have reignited the issue of race and it affects not just the narrow world of footballers of different ethnic and racial origin but everyone not perceived as French, blanc, or beholden to the republic.
Blanc cannot commit himself to coaching the national team and pretend it was his evil alter ego indulging in a momentary lapse of reason. There are players who might feel team selection is based on the way he thinks and feels and not on sound footballing tactics. Of double standards employed in the future which subtly excludes them. It is not unlike the level of mistrust Raymond Domenech engendered with his personal biases and bizarre fetishes.
Domenech was the coach under whom the racial divide bubbled over leading to bitter acrimony and open revolt. The FFF appointed Blanc based on the level of trust and confidence reposed in him from his successful association with clubs including a large representation from the black and North African community. Blanc was also part of the multihued Les Bleus counting Lilian Thuram and Zinedine Zidane as compatriots in their 1998 World Cup triumph. A coach with impeccable credentials to repair the fracture and regain cohesion.
Blanc’s first step was to start fresh with players untainted by the World Cup debacle. A promising beginning and a few good results to show. But a growing feeling that cleaning out the stable might now carry a different connotation is bound to split the sport once again and subsequently the nation. Patrick Viera on the controversy:
“If these people stay, then that’s the door open to all discriminations. If football really wants to fight against this scourge, if the FFF want to show that they have the values of the Republic, then there are strong decisions that must be made. They shouldn’t forget that they are the elite of football. It’s they who will design the French football of tomorrow. It’s they who are supposed to defend community harmony.”
It won’t just be football as victim. The FFF has to take a strong stand. Blanc needs to resign.

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2 comments on “Laurent Blanc needs to resign
  1. I’m sorry, but who says Blanc is racist or even wanted to do anything racist. Blanc was looking forward to change, improve the youth selection and education in football. For many years, the DTN prefered to hire young guys really athletics, in order to develop a strong game. Viera, Thuram, they come from this generation, this positive discrimination where your strenght, power, and dynamism were more important than technic. Black people are far more athletic, in football, than any other. They stand strongly, mainly in the defense lines. Is that racism? No, because it’s because of their skills that they go there. Blanc wants to develop a me spanish game, with more “electric” players, smaller, faster…so he wants to look to youngster who have those skills when they were eliminated early in their carrier before. He just wants to make a balance.
    Then looking at the nationality stuff, yeah, that’s annoying for a coach, a manager, or a federation to lose all this potential (and they paid to develop it…) because any Polish (like recently) or Ivorian or whatever, federation offers them a selection early in their carrier when the way the French national team seems still far away. So, Blanc, wanted to have a better look to those questions. That’s why he talked about it. And as a busy and honnest man, he did not took two hours to say what he wanted to say when he could say it in a few words. Because he also never imagined that anyone would tell him one day that he was racist! Because, deep inside him, he is just not!
    I believe that Blanc is doing great, and that he has the right values. Racism is not him.

  2. Basilio: I appreciate your sentiments. After reading some more, Laurent Blanc might have advocated changes in the training process to favour technical skills more than speed and strength but he then resorted to racial stereotypes to make his point. In doing so he overlooks black footballers who used skill and craft to become the players they are – Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Claude Makelele come to mind. In the USA it used to be no black could be a quarterback in American football because they were perceived to lack the vision and the decision making skills. Now every other quarterback is black. Blanc used racism to make a point and that is why his statements are so damaging. As for the dual nationality issue, it appears French players of other European origin have proven to be opportunists. They have poisoned the well for a larger group of players that are black and players of N.African origin. This quota system is skewed against them.

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