France attempt to heal squad rifts

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The France squad at Euro 2012 have held an emergency meeting to try and clear the air after the dressing room bust-up after the loss to Sweden.


Defeat to the Swedes mean Les Bleus will now face reigning champions Spain in their quarter-final on Saturday evening.


It was a poor performance by Laurent Blanc’s side and it resulted in tensions between certain players bubbling over and a “heated” disagreement took place.


L’Equipe reported that Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa had clashed with manager Blanc, even going so far telling him to send him home if he wanted.


However, assistant manager Alain Boghossian denied such a serious exchange too place but revealed the players took the chance to clear the air after training yesterday.


“It wasn't that much of a clash,” said Boghossian of the reported Blanc/Ben Arfa falling out.


“It was a discussion, an exchange, and the two people concerned explained things to each other. They shook hands and there's no problem.”


Boghossian also rejected the notion that tensions in the camp were similar to those at World Cup 2010 in South Africa, when a player revolt against then manager Raymond Domenech resulted in a group stage exit.


“It's not at all comparable. Tensions are normal when you lose,” he insisted.


“There were some altercations, some exchanges. It's like when you're in a relationship, if you brush things under the carpet then things will explode.


“The fire's been put out. Nothing's broken. Everyone said what they had to say.


“We all had a chat over lunch when things had calmed down. Then we had a little meeting after dinner.”

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Hatem Ben Arfa
Premier League
Newcastle United

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