Dugarry criticises Thuram over race row comments

Updated: 05 May 2011 10:13 IST

Christophe Dugarry took aim at Lilian Thuram on Wednesday, as the race row that has rocked French football began to unsettle the relationships between members of France's 1998 World Cup-winning squad.

Dugarry criticises Thuram over race row comments

Paris:

Christophe Dugarry took aim at Lilian Thuram on Wednesday, as the race row that has rocked French football began to unsettle the relationships between members of France's 1998 World Cup-winning squad.

Dugarry, Thuram and current France coach Laurent Blanc played alongside each other in the team that lifted France's first ever World Cup that year, but Dugarry felt compelled to speak out after Thuram criticised Blanc's role in the quota affair.

"What annoys me about Lilian Thuram's behaviour, especially when I see him go up against Laurent Blanc in such a manner, is the way he wants to pass himself off as the judge of the Supreme Court," Dugarry told Infosport.

"I've always had the impression that he wants to give lessons in behaviour to everyone by saying that so-and-so has to do this and not that.

"Like with Patrice Evra, who almost had to be guillotined because he was the captain of France and he didn't want to get off the bus (during France's World Cup training strike last year)."

Dugarry also related a story about the night of France's World Cup celebrations in July 1998.

"We have the cup and we're taking photos of each other," recalled Dugarry, who now works as a television pundit.

"And then I hear Lilian Thuram - and I'm not the only one, Franck Leboeuf (heard it) as well -- say: 'Come on, let's get a photo with all the blacks.'

"And Franck Leboeuf gets up and says to him: 'Lilian, what are you saying now? Imagine if we'd said, 'Come on, let's get a photo with all the whites.' How would you have reacted?'

"Those are discriminatory words and at no point did we misinterpret them and at no point could we have imagined that Lilian Thuram was a fascist or a racist."

The Mediapart website claimed last week that high-ranking French officials, including Blanc, discussed introducing a quota to restrict the number of dual-nationality players coming through their national training programmes.

National technical director (DTN) Francois Blaquart was subsequently suspended and both the French Football Federation (FFF) and the French sports ministry have launched investigations.

Blanc apologised after Mediapart on Saturday published a transcript of the meeting at which the quota plan was discussed, but Thuram told RTL on Monday: "I don't think his apology was enough after what happened."

Topics : Football France Patrice Evra Franck Ribery
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