Mid-Day Ticker: More French drama, Kaita receives threats and more

Mid-Day Ticker: More French drama, Kaita receives threats and more

MLS- Columbus Crew

Mid-Day Ticker: More French drama, Kaita receives threats and more

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FranceReuters

By AVI CREDITOR

"Crazy Ray" has struck again.

French coach Raymond Domenech is at the center of yet more drama after getting into an argument with an assistant coach and having his team walk out of practice Sunday.

Domenech has already polarized players through his lineup selection and has sent starting striker Nicolas Anelka home for subordination. The latest incident caused assistant coach Robert Duverne to rip his credential off and heave it after heated discussions, first with captain Patrice Evra, then with Domenech. The players then closed up shop and boarded the bus.

Team director Jean-Louis Valentin resigned from the French Football Federation following the final dust-up.

Here's (rough) video of the altercation:

France faces host South Africa on Tuesday with an outside chance at still qualifying for the knockout stage. Should Les Bleus not make it through, Domenech's tenuous tenure as coach will be over, as Laurent Blanc has already been appointed as his successor.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

KAITA RECEIVES DEATH THREATS

Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita, who received the red card that paved the way for Greece to defeat the Super Eagles, has reportedly received more than 1,000 death threats since Thursday's match.

Kaita shoved and attempted to kick Vasilis Torosidis after being taunted with the ball out of bounds. Kaita was shown a straight red, and Greece scored two goals with a man-advantage to secure a 2-1, come-from-behind victory. 

Despite the loss and an 0-2-0 start to the World Cup, Nigeria can still make it through to the knockout stage with a win over South Korea and help from Argentina, which plays Greece.

A Nigeria team spokesman says the Super Eagles have contacted FIFA and the Nigerian government to seek out protection for Kaita.

DECO OUT FOR N. KOREA MATCH

Portugal midfielder Deco has been ruled out of the team's match against North Korea on Monday after injuring his hip in training. 

Deco was one of the more creative forces Portugal had in its opener against the Ivory Coast until he was subbed off in the 62nd minute by Tiago.

Tiago is expected to take his place in the starting lineup, though that decision hasn't been finalized yet.

ROBBEN'S RETURN UP TO HIM

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk said that Arjen Robben's return to action is up to the player. Robben, who injured his hamstring in a pre-World Cup friendly, has participated in a couple of full training sessions and is nearing game-fitness.

The Dutch have been able to win without their star winger, as they've already clinched a spot among the final 16 teams after victories over Denmark and Japan. Their final match comes against Cameroon, which has already been eliminated from contention.

MLS FRIENDLY RESULTS

Major League Soccer teams went 4-for-4 in friendlies Saturday, getting in some game action before the World Cup break ends on June 25.

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Is there anything else that could happen with France that would surprise you anymore? Did you think Kaita deserved the straight red? Think Deco's absence will hurt Portugal? Should Robben play in the final group game? Excited for MLS games to start up again?

Share your thoughts below.

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