PARIS: Former star player Yannick Noah has offered an apology of sorts for criticising France’s defeated Davis Cup team saying that he would keep quiet in the future.
Noah, who earned legendary status in France by winning the French Open in 1983 and captaining Davis Cup triumphs in 1991 and 1996 lashed out at the team after they lost the Davis Cup final to Roger Federer’s Switzerland in Lille last month.
At the time he criticized the preparations carried out by captain Arnaud Clement and said that he was ready to resume the role if the players wanted him to.
Clement, who was given a new two-year contract despite the loss in Lille, said he was “shocked” by the criticisms and insisted that Noah had no idea what he was talking about.
“Okay – there we go that’s an end to it,” Noah, who now is better know as a reggae singer, said in an interview with beIN Sports TV.
“Excuse-me, sorry, sorry, the next time I will keep my mouth shut, say nothing for several years.”
Noah insisted that he had nothing personally against Clement and had just said what he believed.
“I just expressed an opinion that was shared by the majority of the people who were in the stadium (in Lille). And when I said that, I was not having a go at anyone. I was just watching a tennis match.
“I have no desire to become captain again. That is not at all what I am about.”
The French were favorites to win the Davis Cup final with a trio of top players in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet at their disposal.
But an arm injury hampered Tsonga and they were overwhelmed by Swiss stars Federer and Stan Wawrinka who swept into a winning 3-1 lead.