Italian team manager Gigi Riva was equally infuriated. “This is pathetic. He knows that Italy-France is an important tie and is trying to cause controversy. Why didn’t he say these things back then, after the match? He is the one who is trying to influence the referee, it is a very sad thing to see.”
In the 1980s, there was a show here in Canada called Seeing Things. The plot revolved around the main character’s distinguished and reoccurring premonitions. If it is ever decided to bring back the show, I nominate Raymond to be the main protagonist. As an amateur astrologist, he indeed sees many things.
In any event, his unsubstantiated comments crossed the line from coach trying to gain a psychological edge to an individual attacking the integrity of a national program.
Surely, as I read his comments, someone would have to step forward and reprimand him?
That person came in the form of UEFA President Michel Platini. The former Juventus soccer legend chimed in with his own firm remarks quoted in the outstanding French sports paper L’ Equipe. "If Domenech does not submit evidence supporting what he has said he will be punished. We will send a letter to the French Federation asking for proof of what was claimed. If they fail to submit it we will take action and punish the coach."
As Smokey Robinson once said, "I second that emotion."
By now, French officials should have been hit with a two-day old baguette that Domenech – who continues to baffle and frustrate French fans with his perplexing selections - is belittling and demeaning the great achievements and legacy of French soccer.
That they elegantly did - the French soccer Federation has issued an apology as they let Domenech fend for himself. “Domenech’s words were representative only of his personal opinion,” FFF chief Jean-Pierre Escalettes explained.
Sigh. Between Italy and France they taught the world how to eat and act with sophistication. Several hundred types of cheeses and wines (and thousands of variations of foods) are produced within their shockingly delicious culinary societies.
Raymond Domenech carries this legacy perfectly well - cheesy and whiny indeed.
Now if you don’t mind Ray, we soccer fans want to anticipate this classic encounter in peace.