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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 4, 2007

UEFA upholds Domenech's touchline ban

ZURICH, Sept 4 (Reuters) - France coach Raymond Domenech will watch Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier against world champions Italy from the stands after UEFA upheld his one match touchline ban.

UEFA's appeals body ruled on Tuesday that the ban, handed down following comments made by Domenech in a French newspaper, would stand.

Domenech's appeal was partially upheld, however, with the 10,000 Swiss Franc (£4,500) fine originally imposed on him by UEFA's control and disciplinary board being lifted.

Domenech had been summoned after accusing Italy of bribing the referee of an Under-21 qualifying match for the 2000 Olympics between the two countries.

'I have said what I had to and they listened to me,' Domenech told reporters at France's training camp outside Paris.

'They even lifted the fine. It's not pleasant not to be on the bench. I'll watch from the stands, just like you.

'What's really a nuisance is that I won't be able to go to the locker room.'

Domenech said he would not take the matter any further.

'For me, the case is closed,' he said.

Following the original hearing, UEFA said Domenech's comments to Le Parisien newspaper had brought football into disrepute.

As well as the bribery claims, Domenech used the interview to praise Italy defender Marco Materazzi for provoking Zinedine Zidane into head-butting him in last year's World Cup final.

Zidane was sent off and France lost on penalties.

Domenech also told the newspaper he had doubts about the officiating of Saturday's qualifier in Milan.

'I'm not the one who invented the stories about refereeing in Italy,' Domenech said. 'Some matches have been fixed.'

Italy's 2006 match-fixing scandal, which led to Juventus being demoted and four clubs having points deducted, centred on teams trying to secure favourable referees for league matches.

France hold a two-point lead over Italy at the top of qualifying Group B, having avenged their World Cup final defeat with a 3-1 win over the Italians in Paris last year.

Third-placed Scotland are a further point behind and could draw level with France on Saturday if Domenech's men slip up in Milan and the Scots win their home meeting with Lithuania.

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