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WORLD CUP DAILY REPORT

Spotlight

July 13, 1998|HELENE ELLIOTT

The French Culture Ministry's plan to drape a giant banner over the Eiffel Tower honoring the French team was dropped.

A certain athletic goods company wanted its logo on the banner but was told that wouldn't be possible and so instead put the banner on another building on the Champs-Elysees.

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Before the final, Croatia Coach Miroslav Blazevic threw his support behind France.

"We were very touched by the warm reception we were given by the French during the tournament," he said. "We love France and I guarantee you that for [the] final against Brazil, my entire team will give a thumbs up for France."

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Croatian defender Slaven Bilic, booed throughout the third-place match for embellishing an incident in the semifinals that got French defender Laurent Blanc suspended for Sunday's final, still thinks Blanc's punishment fit the crime.

"I wanted to tell Blanc that I was sorry he was going to miss the final, but I still think he deserved to get sent off," Bilic said. "I'm not a bad person, and I know that deep down I'm an honest man. That's what counts most. And after all, I couldn't care less."

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