There is no end to the negative French stories this summer, is there? After their abysmal world Cup campaign which saw them finish bottom of their group, their top striker Anelka sent home for insulting the coach, and captain Patrice Evra lead a players revolt, they now might be in danger of being thrown out of FIFA altogether. The government interfering in football affairs is not allowed, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy is walking a fine line by personally leading an investigation into the scandal.
The French soccer federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes has already resigned, and numerous officials and players have been interviewed by Sarkozy, including Thierry Henry. This is all in an attempt to get to the bottom of the circumstances that caused France’s problems at the World Cup, which left the whole nation quite embarrassed.
Sepp Blatter has warned, however, that France will not be spared if things go too far. Smaller football nations in the past, like Iraq, have been banned from participating in qualification campaigns and continental cups by FIFA when it was determined the government influenced the football federation too heavily, and that same fate awaits any government that does this.
I’m sure that Sarkozy will be more careful now, but this should serve as a reminder that yes – things can indeed always get worse. No country as big as France has ever been kicked out, but there’s always a first for everything.