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Jun 28, 2010

French FA president to resign

Jean-Pierre Escalettes has confirmed he is to resign as president of the French Football Federation, following the dismal failure of the French side at the World Cup.

Escalettes will submit his resignation on Friday at a meeting of the federation's federal council after a tournament that saw France eliminated before the knockout stages and disgraced by in-fighting between team and management.

A bust-up involving Nicolas Anelka and coach Raymond Domenech (which resulted in the Chelsea striker being expelled from the team camp) and a subsequent strike by the rest of the squad in protest at Anelka's expulsion was at the root of the problems and there have been calls from government officials in France for change at the top of the FFF.

Escalettes released a statement via the FFF website confirming his intention to stand down.

''After a weekend of reflection during which I consulted with my elected colleagues and those close to me, I have decided that I must resign my position as president of the French Football Federation,'' he said.

''I accept a clear portion of responsibility. My decision is essentially dictated by the wish to preserve and facilitate the development of an institution that I have had a passion for for several decades. I will hand over my resignation at the meeting of the federal council on July 2.

''I will be available to everybody to analyse frankly the reasons behind the fiasco of the French team in South Africa. I will go into these points further on Friday in front of my colleagues in the federal council. In the interval, I will not comment further.''

The president of the Professional Football League (LFP) Frederic Thiriez praised Escalettes' contribution to French football.

Amongst other achievements the 75-year-old spearheaded France's successful bid to host the 2016 European Championships, and Thiriez said in a statement:

''Jean-Pierre Escalettes is a just man. The disaster at the World Cup should not overshadow the positive aspects of his action: Euro 2016, the recovery of the finance of the Federation and solidarity between amateur football and professional football.

''This solidarity must remain stronger than ever when it comes to rebuilding an entire new system of governance for the future of football.''

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