France won’t play for a draw: Blanc

France coach Laurent Blanc said in his eve-of-game press conference there is no chance his side will play for a draw against Bosnia-Herzegovina despite needing only a point to qualify for the Euro 2012 finals.

France won't play for a draw: Blanc

France come into the game at the Stade de France a point clear of their opponents at the top of qualifying group D, so avoiding defeat will suffice for them to advance directly while leaving Bosnia to settle for a playoff place.

However, Blanc says that his men must go out trying to win the game or risk being surprised by an excellent Bosnian side.

“They have quality players. They were presented as the strongest side in the group alongside France and there are players there who play for leading European clubs,” he said.

“We have lots of respect for Bosnia but there is no fear. We will prepare well for the game and want to win it.

“0-0 suits us but we still have to play 90 minutes. I hope that despite what is at stake, the team that plays the most football wins.

“To sit back and play for a draw is not my philosophy. That would be a mistake on pur part.”

Blanc also admitted that he is tempted to go with the same approach that allowed France to win 2-0 in Bosnia in the return fixture last year.

“I am tempted to say we will. We defended superbly there, pressed well and used the ball well too,” he said.

“The Bosnians hardly created any chances. If we can repeat that performance it would be great but we will have to try and do it with different players.”

Blanc — who confirmed that goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will captain the side — added that he should have no trouble motivating his men.

“Motivating the players is the easiest thing. The motivation comesb naturally – the boys all want to go to the European Championships.

“They know that this match is decisive.”

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.


Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.