KNYSNA, South Africa — French star F Nicolas Anelka was sent home Saturday because of a heated exchange with coach Raymond Domenech and refusing to apologize.
The 2008-09 MVP of the English Premier League reportedly made obscene comments to Domenech at halftime of a 2-0 loss to Mexico on Thursday. The loss came after a 0-0 tie against Uruguay.
"I indeed had a heated conversation with the coach. But it happened within the confines of the changing rooms between the coach and me in front of my teammates and the staff," Anelka said. "That should never have come out of the changing rooms. I don't know who can benefit from that, but repeating these kinds of things certainly doesn't help (the team)."
French captain Patrice Evra said Anelka's comments were "totally unacceptable for the (French soccer federation), French football and the values it defends."
But he added a "traitor" among the staff must have leaked details of the incident.
"It came from someone in this group who wishes the French team harm," Evra said.
"The problem isn't Anelka. It's the traitor among us."
England: FIFA pledged tightened security after an angry fan broke through security at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town and slipped into the locker room after Friday's 0-0 tie with Algeria. The incident happened a few minutes before a visit from Prince William and Prince Harry, and the intruder was talked out of the room by David Beckham.
Italy: Team officials still hope Gianluigi Buffon, considered one of the world's top goalkeeper, can return before the tournament ends. Coach Marcello Lippi said Buffon, who might need surgery for a herniated disc, is "improving day after day."
Mexico: F Carlos Vela is doubtful for Tuesday's game against Uruguay with a right leg injury, the Associated Press reported. The team did not comment on Vela, who left Thursday's game against France late in the first half.
Slovenia: F Nejc Pecnik is out for the rest of the tournament with a broken right ankle. He was hurt late in Friday's 2-2 tie against the United States on a collision with M Clint Dempsey.