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Deschamps set to stay until 2016

Didier Deschamps looks likely to remain as France coach until the country hosts Euro 2016 after being told he would not automatically be sacked if the national team failed to qualify for the next World Cup.

With France having been drawn alongside European and world champions Spain in their qualifying group, the 44-year-old could hardly have had a trickier route to the 2014 finals in Brazil.

When he was appointed in July, Deschamps, who lifted the World Cup as a player in 1998, said he would resign if he failed to lead his nation to the tournament.

But the French FA (FFF) president Noel Le Graet said he would not necessarily be put under pressure to go if that were the case

"If we qualify for the World Cup, Didier should continue to 2016," he said. "The contract is clear - it's automatically extended in this situation," Le Graet, who initially gave Deschamps a two-year deal, said.

"However, if we don't qualify, which is not something I'm envisaging, his departure would not be automatic. There would be discussions."

Les Bleus are level on points with Spain at the top of the group, having secured a point from October's trip to Madrid, and Le Graet said his admiration for Deschamps, who replaced Laurent Blanc, was based on more than just results.

"I didn't really want to work with [Blanc] any more, and perhaps the reverse is also true," he said.

"That's the life of a president. They sometimes get on with a coach, sometimes they don't, and sometimes it's irrational.

"I don't want to criticise anyone, but I don't think we could have stuck it out through to 2016. I have more affinity with Didier.

"There's also Guy Stephan [Deschamps' assistant], who I've already worked with. It's a duo I like and the public likes too. What they've done so far in qualifying, and particularly against Spain, gives us hope."

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