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    France return to World Cup training

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    The troubled France team have returned to training to prepare for their final Group A match against South Africa, a day after boycotting a session in support of expelled striker Nicolas Anelka.


    All the France players turned up on the pitch at their World Cup base in Knysna, Western Cape, and prepared normally for Tuesday's game in Bloemfontein.


    Reporters were asked to leave after 15 minutes but a team spokesman said the session went on normally.


    It included fitness coach Robert Duverne, who had a heated exchange with captain Patrice Evra on Sunday after finding out that the players had decided not to train.


    Evra and his team-mates did so to protest against the French Football Federation's decision to kick Anelka out of the squad after he insulted coach Raymond Domenech at half-time of a 2-0 defeat by Mexico last week in Polokwane.


    Meanwhile World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane has rebuked his compatriots for refusing to train.


    Zidane, who won the title in 1998 but was famously sent off in the last final in 2006 against Italy, had brushes with referees rather than coaches during his illustrious international career which also reaped a European crown in 2000.


    "Concerning the players ... I don't agree with the fact that they refused to go to the training pitch," Zidane, 37, who retired after the 2006 final which France lost on penalties, told reporters in Johannesburg.


    "There's two things that will be remembered from this World Cup - the winner and the fact that the French team refused to attend the training session ahead of their match with South Africa."