Anelka: I was planning to quit after World Cup

PARIS - Nicolas Anelka, the man at the centre of the France World Cup boycott, was planning to quit the national team even before their troubled tournament in South Africa in June, the Chelsea striker has revealed.

In an interview with French magazine Les Inrocks due to be published on Wednesday, Anelka said that he had informed then coach Raymond Domenech of his decision to end his international career after the World Cup.

"The truth is that I told Domenech before the World Cup that I'd quit the France team after the competition whatever was to happen there," Anelka said.

Anelka, 31, was kicked out of the France team after a 2-0 defeat against Mexico for insulting Domenech at halftime.

The France players, in support of Anelka, then refused to attend a training session and Les Bleus were eliminated in the first round.

"I told him clearly (that I'd quit). They (the federation) want to come out of this situation nicely, showing they have re-established order," added Anelka, who was handed an 18-match suspension by the French federation.

The June boycott caused a huge furore in France with President Nicolas Sarkozy weighing in with criticism of the team.