Jean Tigana is going all FIFA on us now.
By Bridget O’Donnell
The drama between Shanghai Shenhua and Jean Tigana escalated yesterday after the team’s former head coach threatened to get FIFA involved.
According to China Daily, “Tigana’s legal team has sent a letter to the club, warning it would appeal to FIFA if Shenhua failed to pay his full-year salary, which is 2.5 million euro, for breach of contract.”
Unofficially, it’s still unclear whether Tigana jumped or was pushed — the team canceled a press conference yesterday that was reportedly supposed to announce Tigana’s departure. And according to the New York Times, the CSL club has been telling different Chinese newspapers different things.
But speculation is rampant that he was, in fact, fired. Tigana denied a public statement from team manager Zhu Jun that he had resigned, but when asked about his status with the team the coach was hopelessly vague. And after the team’s loss to Tianjin Teda last Friday, Australian forward Joel Griffiths told media that Tigana was indeed no longer with the team.
Speaking of the Tianjin game, new details have emerged regarding Tigana’s pre-kickoff departure from Hongkou stadium. According to China Daily, superstar slash player-coach Nicolas Anelka led a collective boycott against the coach on the team bus prior to the game. Reportedly, Tigana had no choice but to go back to the hotel.