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Lilian Thuram: French Team Awoke Society's Latent Racism

France's all-time most capped player continues to be the team's most outspoken critic, now tying the behavior of the French team in South Africa to increased racism.

Lilian Thuram, whose 142 appearances are the most in the country's history, claimed the 2010 World Cup team has “awakened the underlying racism in society” with the boycott of a training session prior to Les Bleus' third match.  The boycott was arranged after striker Nicolas Anelka was sent-home, disciplined after blowing-up at coach Raymond Domenech during halftime of France's second match.

As told to France's L'Equipe and published yesterday, Thuram said the problems the French team had in South Africa made it too easy for people fall-back on society's latent racism and attribute the problems to there being too many blacks in the team.  The former France defender, a member of the 1998 World Cup-winning team who retired after the 2008 European Championships, said the strike's leaders must take responsibility for awakening society's "bad sides."

Thurman also cast doubt on Jérémy Toulalan's claims of solidarity within the team, terming such claims a tactic of the strike's leadership.

Thurman has said that Evra should not be allowed to play for France again.  On Saturday, he said that he will leave his position as federal council for the French federation if the players are not punished.