A dejected Raymond Domenech was captured on video rejecting a handshake with South African coach Carlos Alberto Parreira after the conclusion of the South Africa - France match with culminated in both teams’ elimination from the World Cup.
The South African coach approached his French counterpart after the match apparently to offer his condolences as the French number one’s job was hanging in the balance depending on the result of the match. According to Parreira, however, Domenech apparently muttered that he was refusing because of a comment Parreira made about the French team only being in the World Cup because of an illegitimate Thierry Henry goal scored against Ireland.
The French boss was repeatedly pressed to answer why he refused the handshake by journalists at the post-match press conference, but did not answer. At once stage he threatened to walk out on the conference if he were asked again.
His only answer as to why he refused the South African boss’ handshake was: “I felt it was important I showed them I understood that they had been through difficult times and had given of their best.”
Parreira made history as the coach of the first host nation to crash out of the World Cup at the initial stage. Nevertheless, the South African boss made the gesture out of courtesy and as a show of consolation with his French counterpart. He had this to say about the rebuffed handshake after the match : “As a matter of politeness I went to shake hands at the end because I knew he would no longer be French coach and he said something to me in English I didn’t understand, he said I had offended the French team and, for the life of me, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never insulted the French team. I’ve always praised them.”
Parreira said one Domenech’s assistants had told him later that Domenech was still upset about a remark Parreira had made last autumn, criticizing the fact that France owed their qualification to the play-off goal created by Thierry Henry’s notorious handball.
Parreira said he could not remember the remark and, anyway, it was a long time ago.
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