Abidal: French to keep cool in Ireland

CLAIREFONTAINE - France are controlled enough to deal with any provocation from the Ireland players during their World Cup play-off, Barcelona defender Eric Abidal told reporters on Thursday.

"They try to tickle your ankles, but that's part of football. It will require a lot of self-control from our part. We must make sure we hold our nerve in order not to hamper the team," Abidal said at the France camp outside Paris.

France face Ireland at Croke Park on Saturday in the first leg of the play-off. The return match is next Wednesday.