French minister shocked by Domenech bonuses

PARIS - French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde was shocked by reports that national team coach Raymond Domenech had earned more than 800,000 euros in match bonuses during France's 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.

French media, citing figures from the French Football Federation, reported that Domenech had earned 826,222 euros in bonuses over a two-year period following France's qualification for next year's finals in South Africa.

France only secured their place at the finals after a blatant handball by Thierry Henry led to an aggregate winning goal in their European zone play-off against Ireland.

Asked whether she found it shocking to hear what Domenech had earned, Lagarde told French radio station Radio Classique on Tuesday: "Well, yes."

"I come from the world of amateur sport where you sweat it out and pay for your own shirt," added Lagarde, a former synchronised swimmer. "I think that too much money in sport is not a good thing."

Lagarde had earlier suggested the game against Ireland should be replayed. France beat Ireland 2-1 on aggregate in last month's playoff after the controversial 1-1 draw in the return leg.

Ireland's requests for a replay and to be given a 33rd place at the World Cup were both rejected by world governing body FIFA.