R19, 000 lifted from Les Bleus

01 July 2010 - 23:30 By BOBBY JORDAN

As if bombing out of the World Cup weren't enough, the grumpy French soccer team lost €2000 (R19000) from their team safe at the five-star Pezula Hotel and Spa, in Knysna.

Les Bleus, who were the tournament's laughing stock because of their embarrassing performances on and off the field, reported the theft to the police shortly after arriving back in Knysna from their dismal loss to Bafana in Bloem.

A case of theft was opened by one of the team managers, said southern Cape police spokesman Capt Malcolm Pojie.

"No specific player was the victim. It is believed the money was kept by the manager to provide for the needs of team members," Pojie said. "No suspect has been identified."

"We have no comment because The French Football Federation requested absolute confidentiality about all aspects of their stay at Pezula," the hotel's hospitality director, Russel Binks, said.

The 55 French players, support staff and officials stayed at the R5000-a-night five-star resort for more than two weeks, eating meals prepared by three world-class chefs.