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By ESPN Staff

Domenech to learn his fate on Thursday

The fate of France coach Raymond Domenech will be decided on Thursday at a meeting of the French Football Federation in Paris.

Jean-Pierre Escalettes, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), will meet with three other members of the Federal Council at 9am local time, where it is now expected that Domenech will be given until after the first three games of World Cup qualifying to convince the FFF to keep faith in him.

Immediately in the wake of France's poor showing at Euro 2008 it was widely touted that Domenech's four-year tenure would be brought to an end within days.

The 2006 World Cup champions crashed out at the group stage following two defeats at the hands of Holland and Italy and a goalless draw with Romania, scoring just once in the process.

The controversial coach was already under immense pressure due to his persistence on making squad selections based on astrology, and had only been saved from the axe in 2006 by a sudden change in fortunes during the World Cup which saw them advance all the way to the final, where they were beaten on penalties by Italy.

It could be that the support Domenech has received from members of his squad and influential figures such as Michel Platini has saved him this time.

Newspaper Le Parisien on Wednesday believed that rather than sacking the 56-year-old, his contract will instead be reduced to a six-month deal to cover the first three games of qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

His position will then be reassessed at the end of the year.

France Football magazine also suggests that "the coach will also have to think his manner of communication, in order to repair the damage done to the national team's image among the general public."

Such an agreement would tie in with the suggestions made by Platini on Tuesday, who insisted that the FFF should keep faith in Domenech as he alone cannot be blamed for the way the national team is now viewed.

But for every high-brow supporter Domenech has his critics too.

Former France striker Christophe Dugarry has been damning in his assessment of the coach's abilities, as have fellow former internationals Eric Cantona, Marcel Desailly and Christian Karembeu.

Domenech's critics have called for him to be replaced by France's World Cup-winning captain from 1998, Didier Deschamps, who is currently out of work following spells at Monaco and Juventus.

After France's exit from Euro 2008, the FFF released a statement saying: "No rash decision on the future direction of the French team will be taken."

Should Domenech be allowed to stay until the end of the year he would face games against Austria on September 6, Serbia on September 10, and Euro 2008 rivals Romania on October 11.


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