world cup mamadou sakho Mamadou Sakho gave Karim Benzema a high-five on the field.
Credit: Getty

In a conversation with journalists, French defender Mamadou Sakho expressed his delight after a comprehensive 3-0 win over Honduras, and said he's only concerned about his own team ahead of the clash against Switzerland.

 

Are you happy with the result?

 

Yes, really happy. I think we've prepared ourselves very well. To start this tournament with a victory is ideal. In the first half we had many chances. As the game went on, we tried to play our game and lost some opportunities. The mood was excellent: our teammates who came on during the game contributed enormously.

 

Did everything change after Wilson Palacios was sent off?

 

The sending-off changed many things. That red card was evidence of how we had things difficult for them. But now we must remain calm, so we can a good rest before the next match.

 

After Switzerland beat Ecuador 2-1, do you now think your Friday match against the Swiss will be the decider in Group E?

Frankly, we don't give a damn about the Swiss result. What interests me personally is the French team and earning three points against them [the Swiss]. We are not even thinking about topping the group, even if that's the clear objective in this first part of the competition. We just want to win all our games.

Like coach Didier Deschamps, were you also impressed by France's front three of Griezmann, Benzema and Valbuena?

I prefer to speak about the collective. We've seen a good French team, which plays the ball, which gives us a lot of pleasure.

The stadium's audio system didn't work, meaning the national anthems were not played. What did you make of that?

It left a bitter taste in my mouth, it's a shame. Afterwards, I was told that there had been a power shortage, but I think it's a lack of respect. If it had been Brazil, as they're at home, they would have found a solution. It is, after all, a source of pride to be able to sing the national anthem. But the fans made up for it by singing it instead.

You felt deprived of that important moment?

Of course! The national anthem, that's what we appreciate the most. It's a habit when you're representing your country. It is a moment of concentration and motivation. It is a characteristic of international matches. I don't want to criticize the organization, but they ought to find a quick solution and respect the country.

Were you bothered at all by the confusion surrounding the second goal, while the goal-line technology first announced 'No goal', then 'Goal', and the protests by the Honduras players that followed?

Not at all, because we understood well that the protests were connected to the use of this new [goal-line] technology. But it would have been much better had this replay on the giant screen just shown the goal.