SWITZERLAND against Spain. Algeria against England. New Zealand against Italy. As anyone familiar with the string of shock results that have littered this year’s World Cup tournament will tell you, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed result in football.


That said, however, telling your coach to ‘go fuck yourself, you son of a whore’ is pretty much an iron-clad certainty to get you boote d off th e team and on the next plane leaving South Africa.

Nicolas Anelka (pictured) found that out this week after the besieged French were left with more mutinous problems.

After being told by the French FA to bid ‘au revoir’ to the World Cup, Anelka’s teammates have rallied in his defence in that most French of fashions – going on strike.

Les Bleus refused to train in protest at the decision to send the expletive-loving striker back to Paris. FFF team director Jean-Louis Valentin immediately quit.

He said: “It’s a scandal for the French, for the young people here. It’s a scandal for the Federation and the French team. They don’t want to train. It’s unacceptable.”

France skipper Patrice Evra said: “The problem is not Anelka. It’s the traitor among us who told the Press what was said. Somebody in our group wants to harm the France team.”

That loud gurgling noise coming from Bondi Junction is the sound of several hundred Irish football fans laughing.