Malouda wants end to saga
"What is done is done," says winger of South Africa shame
By Jamie Casey. Last Updated: 30/08/10 8:01pm
Malouda: Tired of controversy
Frenchman Florent Malouda has called for an end to the dark cloud hanging over the national football team.
France suffered an early exit at the World Cup in South Africa amid a storm of controversy in which Nicholas Anelka was sent home and players protested in anger.
Anelka allegedly launched a foul-mouthed tirade at then boss Raymond Domenech, prompting his banishment, while senior players refused to train in support of their team-mate.
The divide saw the camp fall apart and France subsequently failed to win any of their Group A games, sending them home with their heads hanging in shame.
The French Football Federation have since acted on the in-house friction by handing out bans to key instigators and the nation embarks on a new era under the guidance of Laurent Blanc.
Blanc refused to pick any of the 23 players involved in the World Cup for his first friendly game in charge but many have returned for his competitive debut against Belarus on Friday.
With Bosnia awaiting four days later, the nation hope to qualify for the 2012 European Championships and key player Malouda wants an end to the saga which has rocked French football.
"Even if this is something that is engraved on my career and I can't erase it, we must go forward," Malouda told L'Equipe.
"I am sorry, but what is done is done. We cannot do anything about it. At some point, we must stop lamenting it and focus our attention on the two teams we have to face.
"Even if they are still questions about the management of what happened in South Africa, it's over. My best answers I will give on the pitch. That is my therapy."
One of those suspended by the FFF is captain Patrice Evra, who will miss five games, but Malouda admits he is unconcerned if he is not considered to be in the running for the armband in his absence.
Malouda said: "The captaincy is the responsibility of the coach, and if I don't get it, I will not be disappointed," he said. "It has never been a personal ambition. I am here to win."