Mombaerts taken off France case

Erick Mombaerts has been relieved of his duties as France coach after his side lost out to Norway in the play-offs for next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Erick Mombaerts has stepped aside as France U21 coach
Erick Mombaerts has stepped aside as France U21 coach ©AFP

The French Football Federation (FFF) has relieved coach Erick Mombaerts of his duties after he failed to guide the national team to next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel.

Leading 1-0 from the home leg of their play-off against Norway in Le Havre, Mombaerts's side went down 5-3 in Drammen on Tuesday, meaning they have not qualified for the finals since 2006. An FFF statement read: "The French Football Federation president and U21 national coach met on Thursday morning. Following their exchange and by mutual consent, Erick Mombaerts will no longer continue as head of the U21 team. Erick Mombaerts remains on the national coaching staff."

Mombaerts took over from René Girard in 2008, and later that year his team lost in the play-offs to the Germany side that would go on to win the 2009 U21 championship. They missed out on a play-off place for the 2011 finals, and fell short this time after winning seven of their eight qualifiers to top Group 9.