Ex-France coach Domenech sacked by Nantes

·2-min read
Nantes failed to win a single match under Domenech

Former France coach Raymond Domenech was sacked by Nantes on Wednesday after less than two months in charge with the club languishing in the Ligue 1 relegation play-off place.

A club source said Domenech had been released although the club made no official statement.

Former Nantes player Antoine Kombouare takes over, according to the club source, as the struggler look to break a run of 16 matches without a win in all competitions.

Domenech had been in charge of seven of those games following his appointment in late December.

News of his sacking emerged during Nantes' 4-2 defeat by Lens in the French Cup on Wednesday, a match Domenech was unable to attend as he was in isolation following a positive Covid-19 test on Monday.

Nantes fans were never convinced by Domenech, who arrived in Brittany a decade after his rollercoaster reign as France coach ended in a player strike and early elimination at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The 69-year-old took charge of les Bleus in 2004, lost the 2006 World Cup final to Italy in an infamous match in which Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi, led his team to bottom of their group in Euro 2008 and then suffered humiliation two years later.

The 2010 World Cup was a fiasco for France with temperamental striker Nicolas Anelka sent home and players refusing to train before the team was knocked out in the group stage.

Before being hired by Nantes, Domenech had not managed a team since his sacking as national coach in September 2010.

Domenech was greeted at his first Nantes training session in December by a band playing circus music with a 'ringmaster' taking aim at him and club owner Waldemar Kita.

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kita Circus! The Kita Circus brings you some new amazing new acts," boomed a member of a supporters' club to a background of deafening music, saying Domenech would "make us laugh".

The club sit 18th in Ligue 1, four points above the automatic relegation places.

Kombouare, a former Paris Saint-Germain and Lens coach, left his last job at Toulouse in 2020 after a dreadful 10-match losing streak.