Ex-France coach Domenech gets a clown’s welcome at Nantes

Ex-France coach Domenech gets a clown’s welcome at Nantes

NANTES: Raymond Domenech’s first training session at Ligue 1 club Nantes Wednesday was marred by a band of supporters playing circus music with a ‘ringmaster’ taking aim at the former France coach and club owner Waldemar Kita, and comparing players to goats.

An onlooking Domenech, who has signed a six-month contract with Nantes for his first job since the fiasco at the 2010 World Cup, had taken a back seat to allow club trainer Cyril Moine to put the players through their paces.

But the peaceful atmosphere soon changed, with Domenech, who last coached a club side in 1993 and left his role as Les Bleus boss after finishing bottom of the group and suffering a player revolt in South Africa, the clear target.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kita Circus! The Kita Circus brings you some new amazing new acts,” boomed a member of the ‘Brigade Loire’ supporters’ club to a background of deafening circus music.

“Raymond Domenech will explain to us his vision of football, what will make us laugh on the upcoming weekends.”

Domenech and Kita aside, the players were also targeted.

“And finally the Kita Circus brings you its traditional animal act. Eleven goats will be dispersed on a green rectangle and will have to pass a ball.

“Exclusively at the Kita Circus, a show that has lasted 13 years, for the young and the old,” the ‘ringmaster’ said in reference to the arrival of Kita as club president in 2007.

The criticism did not sit well with the players, Abdoulaye Toure having to be held back by his teammates.

Flanked by two bodyguards, Kita himself attended the end of the training session to talk with the players in front of a complete turnout of backroom staff. – AFP