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Deadly Defoe saves Sunderland

Sunderland
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By ESPN Staff

Race row escalates, chief suspended

Technical director Francois Blaquart has been suspended from his post at the French Football Federation following allegations the footballing body is seeking to introduce quotas limiting the presence of ethnic minority players in the national team.

• Blanc denies existence of racial quota

French website Mediapart have alleged that plans were made at an FFF meeting last November to limit the numbers of black players and those of north African origin entering national training centres and academies at the age of 12.

France coach Laurent Blanc, coach of the France Espoirs under-21 team Erick Mombaerts and Blaquart were all said to have attended the meeting.

Blanc has strongly denied the claims but Blaquart has now been removed from his post with an investigation under way into the reports.

A joint statement from French sports minister Chantal Jouanno and FFF president Fernand Duchaussoy confirmed the news of Blaquart's suspension with immediate effect, before further denying the allegations made.

"(The suspension is) pending the outcome of investigations by the FFF and the IGJS (Inspectorate General of Youth and Sports), who will relay their findings in eight days," the statement read.

"The FFF reaffirms that none of its elected bodies has validated or even contemplated a policy of quotas for the recruitment of its training centres."

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