Blanc considered quitting over quota row

PARIS - Laurent Blanc considered quitting over the discrimination row that has rocked French football, the France coach said on Friday.

Blanc was cleared of any wrongdoing in a twin inquiry by the Sports Ministry and the French football federation, who renewed their confidence in the former World Cup winner on Thursday.

The experience, however, left a deep wound.

"I coped with it pretty badly," Blanc told French TV channel TF1 on Friday. "(Quitting) crossed my mind. I did not become the national coach to experience this kind of situation."

"But quitting would not have been a good decision. The desire to continue eventually regained the upper hand," Blanc, who won the 1998 World Cup in a team dubbed 'Black, Blanc, Beur' (Black, White, Arab) by French media, added.

Blanc attended a meeting in November at which members of the federation discussed the idea of enforcing limits on black and Arab players in youth academies.

The meeting was originally meant to discuss the large number of players in France with dual nationality who eventually choose to play for their country of origin.

"I wish to apologise again for what I said," said Blanc, who during the meeting said he was "in favour" of quotas to limit the number of black and Arab players in youth academies.

"This meeting went off at a tangent."