Coach Domenech has decided not to replace the injured Lassana Diarra in finalising his squad [EPA]

Les Bleus qualification for South Africa 2010 was steeped in controversy after striker Thierry Henry's handball against the Republic of Ireland.

But despite the unpopularity at home of outgoing coach Raymond Domenech and many of their players, the French have been a force to reckon with since they won the World Cup in 1998.

Having lost out to Italy in the 2006 final after Zinedine Zidane's headbutt on Marco Materazzi, France rarely fail to provide excitement whether in victory or defeat.


Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Mickael Landreau (Lille).

Group A fixtures

Friday June 11

 South Africa v Mexico  
 Uruguay v France 

Wednesday June 16

South Africa v Uruguay 

Thursday June 17

France v Mexico 

Tuesday June 22

Mexico v Uruguay  
 France v South Africa


William Gallas (Arsenal), Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Bakary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Rod Fanni (Rennes), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Marc Planus (Bordeaux), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Adil Rami (Lille), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla).


Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Yann Mvila (Rennes), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon).


Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Jimmy Briand (Rennes), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies