Days after France’s black players faced monkey chants in their round of 16 win over Spain, Front National leader / Holocaust revisionist Jean Marie Le Pen has raised the ire of France’s Lilian Thuram (above). From the Times’ Tom Dart.

Le Pen suggested on Monday that the country could not empathise with the side because there were too many non-white players. œWe feel that France doesn™t totally recognise itself in this team, he said.

œ[Le Pen™s] the type of person who would turn on the television and watch a game of basketball and wonder to himself: ˜Hold on, there are black people playing in the American NBA. What™s going on?,™  Thuram, France™s most-capped player, who was born on the French-Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, said.

œWhen we take to the field, we do so as Frenchmen. All of us. It doesn™t matter if we™re black or not, because we™re French. I™ve just got one thing to say to Jean-Marie Le Pen. The French team are all very, very proud to be French. So vive la France, but the true France. Not the France that he wants.”

When Sven-Goran Eriksson says “I’m prepared to do whatever it takes”, you’d better take him seriously. Unless he wasfully clothed when he said it. From the Independent’s Andy Hunter.

“Don’t tell me that I don’t know what to do, I know exactly what to do,” said the England manager at the insinuation he will experiment with his team once again against Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Portugal in Gelsenkirchen. He added: “Of course I have a clear vision – we all have, together with the other coaches. What do you think we do – let them [the players] go out and say good luck to them, do what you want to do? If it’s right or wrong, that’s another thing. But of course it’s clear what we do. Every minute we are together it’s clear what we are going to do.”

The England manager dismissed rumours that goalkeeper Paul Robinson’s inauspicious command of his penalty area in Germany – a weakness highlighted by Portugal striker Pauleta this week – would prompt a surprise recall for David James. “No, no, no, Paul Robinson will start the game on Saturday, he has my absolute confidence,” Eriksson said. “That [Pauleta’s comment] is a mind game, I suppose, and I am not interested in mind games.”

The Mirror’s Martin Fricker and Matt Roper claim that Sven’s counterpart on Saturday, Portugal boss Felipe Scolari, is very keen on motivational tactics.

Brazil’s former media chief Ricardo Setyon told how Big Phil laid into his stars during the 2002 World Cup in astonishing tirades.

He said: “When Brazil were not playing well he would tell the players their performance was an insult to their families.

“Then he would start cursing their mothers, swearing and shouting and saying all sorts.

“He’d call them motherf***ers and bitches. At half-time he’d come in and stand in silence for five minutes, staring at them.”

Alex Barroso, who worked with Scolari at Brazilian club Cruzeiro told how he would tell players to be “more violent”.

He said: “The A and B teams were playing each other and we were being fouled by his players. Phil said to my mine they were playing like girls and yelled: ‘From now on I give you permission to break legs.'”

Scolari was caught on camera telling players to spit at rivals when boss of Palmeiras in 2002.

He spouted about one player called Edilson: “You’ve got to smash into him, kick and spit at him. Spit in his face.”

Scolari was unaware his rant was being recorded by Brazilian TV.

Former QPR director David Morris was found not guilty last week of conspiracy and blackmail charges related to Rangers chairman Gianni Paladini being held at gunpoint last August. Today, charges against 4 of Morris’ alleged accomplices were thrown out.

Had I known it was so easy to threaten someone at Loftus Road with a gun, Matthew Rose would’ve left the club far sooner.