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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 28, 2008

French authorities line-up Thuram for top position

Lilian Thuram is being lined up for a lofty role within the French Football Federation, whether or not his distinguished playing career comes to an end over the next few days.

Thuram, the most capped France player ever with 142 appearances, could quit football this week after medical tests revealed a heart defect which prevented him completing a move to Paris St Germain last month.

A final decision on his playing future may come on Wednesday but whatever the result of further tests made by PSG medical staff, the 36-year-old appears to be a shoo-in for a position within the FFF.

Jean-Pierre Escalettes, the federation's president, has admitted already holding talks with Thuram regarding a future role in French football's hierarchy, which should be reshuffled following a new round of elections in December.

'It is an idea that has been going round in my head for some time, and which has no relation to the health problems Lilian is experiencing,' Escalettes told French daily L'Equipe.

'But he can also carry on just fine as both a player and a member of the (FFF's) federal council.

'This position calls for an elite sportsman. The word 'former' does not appear.

'I have spoken for more than a year to Lilian about it. The idea is still on.'

Thuram is an eloquent speaker and a respected figure whose efforts in football's fight against racism are well documented.

Escalettes believes having the former Monaco, Juventus and Barcelona defender on board at the FFF could also provide help for beleaguered France coach Raymond Domenech, who avoided the boot despite the national team's poor display at Euro 2008.

'Lilian can help us at a federal council level and also with the France team, which needs to get closer to the public, to open up,' Escalettes added.

Thuram quit international football - for a second time - following France's elimination from the Euros in June.

He was a member of Les Bleus' World Cup-winning team in 1998 and also picked up a European Championship winner's medal two years later.

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