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Blanc confirms France departure

30 June 2012 20:37

Laurent Blanc has stepped down as France coach following his team's quarter-final exit from Euro 2012 last month.

France reached the last eight of the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, losing 2-0 to defending champions Spain.

A disappointing 2-1 defeat to already-eliminated Sweden in the final match of Group D consigned France to a runner-up berth and a daunting quarter-final tie against Vicente Del Bosque's Spain.

The campaign was affected by alleged dressing-room disagreements, and incidents such as Samir Nasri's foul-mouthed outburst at the French media.

Blanc, 46, met with the French Football Federation (FFF) President Noel Le Graet on Thursday for talks regarding his future.

And the former international defender has decided not renew his contract as head coach, with Marseille boss Didier Deschamps installed as the early favourite to replace him.

"During our discussions on 28 June, we have not managed to find an agreement on the management of the France team for the next two seasons," Blanc said in a statement released on the FFF website.

"In these circumstances, and at the end of the agreed period of further reflection, I could only confirm, this Saturday, June 30, my decision to not seek the renewal of the contract proposed me by the FFF.

"Before turning the page, I would like to thank my staff for his loyalty and the quality of his work. I want to also thank the players for their involvement even if all 'has not always been perfect'.

"I wish good luck to my successor and hope wholeheartedly that the French team be qualified for the 2014 World Cup to the Brazil."

In the same statement, the FFF confirmed the decision to part ways and thanked Blanc for his services.

"At the end of the period of reflection, Laurent Blanc contacted Le Graet ... to indicate his decision to not extend his contract as national coach," the statement said.

"Le Graet has acknowledged and applauded the work carried out by Blanc at the head of the France team since August 2010.

"The executive committee of the federation will meet on Tuesday, and the FFF and the president will make no comments, until a press conference scheduled for the end of this work session."

Blanc had been linked with the vacant Tottenham Hotspur job, however Andre Villa-Boas is expected to be announced as the new Spurs boss on Monday.

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