Ex-France coach Domenech sacked by Nantes

Ex-France coach Domenech sacked by Nantes

NANTES: Former France coach Raymond Domenech (pix) was sacked by Nantes on Wednesday after less than two months in charge with the club hovering just above the Ligue 1 relegation places.

French media report that former Nantes player Antoine Kombouare is set to take over as the struggling club look to break a run of 15 matches without a win, including seven games under Domenech who was appointed in late December.

Nantes fans were never convinced by Domenech, who arrived at the club a decade after his rollercoaster reign as France coach ended in a player strike and early elimination at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The 69-year-old took charge of Les Bleus in 2004, lost the 2006 World Cup final to Italy in an infamous match in which Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi, led his team to bottom of their group in Euro 2008 and then suffered humiliation two years later.

The 2010 World Cup was a fiasco for France with temperamental striker Nicolas Anelka sent home and players refusing to train before the team was knocked out in the group stage.

Before being hired by Nantes, Domenech had not managed a team since his sacking as national coach in September 2010.

Domenech was greeted at his first Nantes training session in December by a band playing circus music with a ‘ringmaster’ taking aim at him and club owner Waldemar Kita.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kita Circus! The Kita Circus brings you some new amazing new acts,” boomed a member of a supporters’ club to a background of deafening music, saying Domenech would “make us laugh”.

Nantes face Lens in the French Cup on Wednesday, a match Domenech could not attend as he was in isolation following a positive Covid-19 test on Monday.

The club sit 18th in Ligue 1, four points above the automatic relegation places. – AFP