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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct 9, 2008

Benzema backing for under-fire Domenech

CLAIREFONTAINE, France, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Removing Raymond Domenech from his position as coach would not help France's World Cup qualifying campaign, striker Karim Benzema said on Thursday.

"It would be a good thing if he stayed," Benzema told reporters ahead of the qualifier in Romania on Saturday.

"He's the one who gave me a chance and trusted me," the 20-year-old Olympique Lyon forward said. "Taking him out of the France team would not be a good solution."

Domenech was retained as France coach despite widespread criticism when the side exited Euro 2008 at the group stage.

A disappointing result in the Group Seven match (1840 GMT) in the Black Sea port of Constanta might cost him his job.

The 56-year-old, whose team began their qualifying campaign with a shock 3-1 defeat in Austria, earned himself a stay of execution with a 2-1 win over Serbia last month.

French federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes has said an assessment of the coach's position would be made after the Romania match.

"We must stop talking about the coach and all be behind the team," said Benzema. "All the players talk about is the game against Romania. We need three points and we're going there to win."

France are tied for second on three points with Serbia, Austria and Romania. Lithuania are top of Group Seven on six points.

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