Raymond Domenech, French national coach

The Irish have finally got the revenge they’ve so long been seeking as France’s world cup campaign goes belly-up.

The Irish press had a field day berating the side whose ‘Hand of Frog’ deprived the Boys in Green of their chance to participate in the South-African tournament. ‘The French are Revolting’, headlined the Irish Independent, while the Irish Times was equally unkind in its headline-writing, leading with ‘France ‘laughing stock of world’’.

French players have gone on strike after the expulsion from the camp of striker Nicolas Anelka.and a bitter war of words has emerged between key elements in the French camp. The national team’s manager was forced yesterday to take the almost unprecedented step of reading the media a statement on behalf of his own players. While the national football association stood behind the coach for his dismissal of Anelka after that player’s refusal to apologize for insulting the boss.

All and all, if you’re Irish, it’s sheer hilarity, or at least just retribution.

Now the side faces elimination from the tournament Tuesday if it can’t manage a big score against host country South Africa.

Even Zinedine Zidane joined the ranks of the detractors yesterday, criticizing variously both the national team’s on-the-field performance and their exploits and battles off it.

It’s even come to fisticuffs, according to some media reports. Robert Duverne, the squad’s fitness coach, reportedly came face-to-face with captain Patrice Evra; Domenech himself had to intervent to keep the peace.

All in all it’s tyranny and revolt in the French camp.

For us, at least it’s some sort of consolation.