Mid-Day Ticker: Algerian captain benched, French unrest and more

Mid-Day Ticker: Algerian captain benched, French unrest and more

European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Algerian captain benched, French unrest and more

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MansouriGetty

By AVI CREDITOR

Algeria coach Rabah Saadane has benched captain Yazid Mansouri for the country's World Cup opener against Slovenia, stating that the midfielder is not in good enough form to start. Medhi Lacen will reportedly take his place in the lineup.

Other reports state that Mansouri walked out of practice after catching wind of the news.

The Desert Foxes received some good news, though, in light of the ruling that players who received red cards in the African Cup of Nations will not face World Cup suspensions. As a result, goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi and defender Nadir Belhadj will be available for selection when Algeria opens its World Cup on Sunday.

Algeria faces England on June 18 and the United States on June 23.

Here are a few more stories to get you through the final non-World Cup day for the next month:

FRANCE PLAYERS UNHAPPY WITH COACH

France coach Raymond Domenech's decision to bench Theirry Henry is not going over well in French camp.

Players are reportedly turning on Domenech for his personnel decisions, as many have voiced their opinions that Henry and Abou Diaby should start ahead of Yoann Gourcuff and Sidney Govou.

The lack of team chemistry has been evident in past friendlies as well, as Nicolas Anelka allegedly refused to pass to Gourcuff against Costa Rica.

The run-up to the World Cup has not been smooth for France, which gained entry to the tournament through Henry's infamous handball in the final qualifier. In addition to that, several players have been linked to an underage prostitute and the team lost to China in a friendly last week. France opens the World Cup Friday against Uruguay.

BENITEZ-TO-INTER OFFICIAL

Rafa Benitez is signed and sealed and will be delivered to the Italian press next Tuesday as the newest coach of Inter Milan. The former Liverpool boss inked a two-year contract at the San Siro, and he'll take over for Jose Mourinho while trying to guide Inter to back-to-back Champions League, Serie A and Copa Italia titles.

Those in the United States can see Benitez at the end of next month, when Inter plays Manchester City at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium on July 31. Inter is also scheduled to play friendlies with FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy during the first week of August.

MILNER, MAN. CITY CLOSE ON DEAL

England midfielder James Milner, who may not be fit for Saturday's World Cup opener against the United States, is reportedly close to transferring from Aston Villa to Manchester City.

The two clubs are discussing a deal for a £28 million transfer fee, and Milner would sign a five-year deal with the Citizens. The 24-year-old enjoyed a breakout season at Villa, racking up seven goals and 12 assists.

CHINESE JOURNALISTS ROBBED IN JOHANNESBURG

World Cup journalists were robbed in South Africa for a second time on Wednesday. The same day that three journalists were robbed at gunpoint in their hotel, four Chinese journalists were robbed on the streets of Johannesburg. Armed robbers reportedly stole cash and a camera.

South African police have said that three arrests were made in connection to the first robbery.

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What do you think about Algeria's captain being benched? Disappointed that the cards received in the African Cup of Nations won't affect the World Cup? Do you expect France to overcome its off-field issues? Plan on seeing Inter in the States this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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