Sarkozy, a big football fan, on Wednesday called a meeting of government ministers on the matter and asked them "to make sure that those responsible meet the consequences of this disaster," a presidential statement said.
"He also asked ministers to see that no financial benefits are paid to any of the France team."
Sarkozy's opponents criticised him for interfering but press reports said that Henry, France's all-time top goal-scorer, had himself requested the meeting.
"That the president is taking charge of football is not a normal situation but we are not facing a normal situation," said deputy Thierry Mariani, a member of Sarkozy's UMP party. "Football is part of our country's image. Restoring our image is the head of state's duty," he said.
A group of non-governmental organisations including Oxfam said Sarkozy had scrapped a meeting with them to discuss this weekend's Group of 20 summit, in order to make time for Henry.
Для меня это прямо таки удивительно - действительно, футбол важнее Group 20 summit? И он указывает, кому что платить? Но, видимо, это в порядке вещей... "Утешает" хотя бы то, что тут, видимо, дело не только и не столько о футболе: The passion surrounding this debate, of course, makes little sense unless you understand that people are actually talking about something else. Since the 1990s, debates about the national soccer team have channeled and crystallized larger debates about race and immigration in France. The team's fortunes have constantly served as a parable, illuminating the hopes and impasses of the Republic.
Я до сих пор верю/надеюсь, что нашим вождям не до того, хотя бы потому, что ни world cup, ни олимпиада, не являются событиями национальной важности. И министр спорта мне незнаком.