Didier Deschamps is new France coach
PARIS (AP) -- Didier Deschamps is the new coach of France's troubled national soccer team.
The French Football Federation announced the appointment on its Web site Sunday after Laurent Blanc turned down a new contract offer last month.
Deschamps quit as Marseille coach a week ago despite leading the French club to a league title and a record three straight League Cups.
As a player, Deschamps captained France to victory at the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship. He also won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993 and Juventus in `96.
France went on a 23-match unbeaten run under Blanc and reached the quarterfinals at the European Championship, restoring some pride in a team that was knocked out in the first round of the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 Euros under former coach Raymond Domenech.
But Blanc could not prevent his players from again being questioned about their behavior, and Deschamps' main task will be to instill more discipline on and off the field.
Blanc started rebuilding the France team with relative success after players at the last World Cup shocked fans back home by going on strike during training to protest Nicolas Anelka's exclusion from the squad for insulting Domenech. Anelka was suspended for 18 matches while Patrice Evra, Franck Ribery and Jeremy Toulalan received shorter bans.
Now, Samir Nasri, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yann M'Vila and Jeremy Menez face a disciplinary commission July 27 for their actions at this year's Euros in Ukraine.
Deschamps will have only an exhibition game against Uruguay next month to prepare for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. In Group I, France will face Finland and Belarus in September and European champion Spain in October.
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