French Sports Minister: Soccer team overspending

By Staff Writer

The French Sports Minister is question the national team's spending on luxury lodgings during the World cup in South Africa.

While this is spending is good for South Africa, the Minister believes that the national side should settle for a thriftier option during the current economic crisis.

The French team will be staying at the Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa in Knysna which is located next to the Indian Ocean and rooms start at as much as 498 Euro (R4630) a night during low season.

Depending on the team's performance during the World Cup - the total could end up being incredibly costly.

"Personally, I wouldn't have chosen this hotel,'' Rama Yade told Radio J on Sunday, noting that Spain's team is staying on a university campus.


Yade added she "urged football authorities to show decency'' during a time of economic crisis.

"If France goes far, the choice of a site with the best training conditions could seem wise,'' she said. But if Les Bleus perform poorly, she said, soccer officials "will have to explain themselves.''

Alou Diarra, a French midfielder, responded to Yade's comments by insisting that the conditions are ideal but added that the Minister was entitled to her point of view.

"Many people must be jealous of this hotel,'' Diarra said. "They are ideal conditions ... we have very good lodgings, but that's not a secret for anyone, anymore.

"I think Rama Yade is learning. Let's just say the sports minister has her things to say, (she) has her point of view.''

France take on Uruguay in their opening match on Friday and Diarra said that the team would not be fazed by what Yade said.

"We'll block it out, we don't want to mix sport and politics,'' he said.

"We're concentrating on the tournament. Our objective is to be ready to play Uruguay on Friday.''

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