Laurent Blanc stands down as coach of French national team
French federation announce he will not be renewing his contract
France made a tame quarterfinal exit to Spain at Euro 2012
Reports of rifts in camp echoes of disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign
Laurent Blanc stood down as coach of the French national team Saturday in the wake of their quarterfinal exit at Euro 2012.
A statement on the French Football Federation (FFF) website confirmed he would not be renewing his contract after two years in charge of Les Bleus.
The FFF said Blanc had contacted their president, Noel Le Graet, to inform him of the decision.
The executive committee of the FFF will meet Tuesday to begin their hunt for a successor ahead of the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The 46-year-old Blanc took over from the much criticized Raymond Domenech after the disastrous French showing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where a player strike and an exit at the group stages proved a national humiliation.
The former Bordeaux coach, who was a key player in France’s 1998 World Cup triumph and their victory at the 2000 European championships, appeared to have restored their fortunes going into Euro 2012.
But an unbeaten 23-match run was ended with a 2-0 defeat to Sweden in their final group match, leaving them to face defending champions Spain in the quarterfinals.
Reports of a dressing room row after that defeat was hardly the best preparation for the last eight clash which ended in another 2-0 reverse.
Manchester City’s Samir Nasri reacted angrily to that setback in media interviews and he is facing disciplinary action by the FFF.
Blanc’s departure has followed, having survived a scandal in April 2011 when he allegedly favored the introduction of race quotas on the number of dual nationality players at France’s national youth training centers.
He was exonerated of any wrong-doing after appearing before a joint hearing of the FFF and the French Sports Ministry, but he faced criticism from ex-teammates Lilian Thuram and Patrick Vieira.
Former Lyon coach Paul Le Guen and Didier Deschamps, a former French captain, have been touted as possible successors to Blanc, who is set to return to club management.