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Jean Tigana says Non to France

last updated Monday 14th May 2001, 10:57 PM
Jean Tigana
Fulham coach Jean Tigana has ruled himself out of the running as France boss
Fulham coach Jean Tigana has ruled himself out of the running to replace Roger Lemerre as France boss after the 2002 World Cup.

The former Lyon and Monaco coach, who was hotly tipped to succeed Aime Jacquet after the 1998 World Cup, is already one of the favourites to take over from Lemerre when his contract expires in two years.

But Tigana insisted that his refusal to break an existing contract will scupper any hopes he may have had of leading the national team.

"The France team is finished for Tigana," he declared. "After Lemerre and the 2002 World Cup there will be another coach who will have to commit for four years or at least until the next World Cup in Germany. At that time I will still be tied to Fulham and as I respect my contracts…"

The scenario is a repeat of what happened two years ago, when Tigana refused the chance to replace Jacquet. It's a decision he has never regretted, he has told France Football, published on Tuesday.

"I have no remorse. I didn't take the national team because I had given my word to Monaco president Jean-Louis Campora that I would see through my contract with Monaco. I'm like that. My beliefs and my given word are the most important guide to my convictions."

He continued: "Anyway, I don't like speaking too much about the national team out of respect for the people already in place, who are working very well.

"France are very strong and everything is working out for them. If they continue like this, and if there aren't any major problems between now and June 2002, I can't see what could possibly go wrong for them.

"We have to hope that none of the key players get injured two or three months before the event, which is what happened to us before Mexico with Michel Platini. If Michel had been fully fit in 1986 I think we would have won the World Cup."

Tigana's comments come just two weeks after he revealed that he plans to end his coaching career at Fulham. "I've got two years of my contract left and another two as an option if I want," he said. "After that, it's Cassis, his home-town on the Mediterranean coast, fishing, enjoying myself and resting. Fulham is my last stop.

"In four years' time I'll be 50. I've been in football for 26 years and I've taken five weeks' holiday. I love being on the field but my family are starting to remind me that there's more to life than football. We will see. Maybe I'll put some money into a club and become a shareholder or a president."

Source onefootball
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