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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

France's dissapointing draw in World Cup debut

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French debut was one of the most expected ones of the World Cup. But the 1998 World Champions only got a 0-0 draw with Switzerland on Tuesday. The result was dissapointing for France supporters and for the team as well.

"We already knew it would not be easy, but we managed to take two points off a direct rival," coach Raymond Domenech admitted about the one point the Swiss got instead of three for a win. "I regret that we did not score when we had the opportunity, but we are always at the mercy of these things. The refereeing was not always understandable, even though it is top-level refereeing. Sure, it's a shame, but we have to put up with it."

Thierry Henry dind't save from the critics. He headed one good chance hopelessly too high and virtually passed two shots to Swiss goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbuehler.

So "Titi" Henry also complained about referee Valentin Ivanov of Russia. Henry thought France should have had a penalty when Swiss defender Patrick Mueller accidentally stopped a shot from Franck Ribery with his left hand.

"Once again the referee didn't see it and it came at a moment in the game when we were really on top," Henry stated. "I know that the rule is hand-to-ball, but if the ball hits the hand and it stops it going in, that must be a penalty."