PARIS — Raymond Domenech will remain France's soccer coach despite a first-round exit at last month's European Championship and will now have a chance to lead the team at the 2010 World Cup.

Jean-Pierre Escalettes, president of the French soccer federation, said he did not want to make a rash decision based on the outcry that followed Euro 2008.

"Domenech's record is not that bad as coach," he said. "It is not catastrophic. He qualified us two straight times for a major competition," the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. "I did not want emotion and passion to get the better of reason."

Escalettes said council members voted 18-0 to keep Domenech, with one abstention. However, he suggested things could change if France does not get off to a good start in its 2010 qualifying campaign.

"Everyone is fully aware that the French team must evolve," he said. "We will see where things are in mid-October. But we have not asked him to sign a contract."

He also insisted that Domenech communicate better, criticizing the coach for remarks that were "sometimes like pouring vinegar on a wound."

NEARLY 3.8 MILLION TUNE IN: The first U.S. network telecast of a European Championship final was seen by 3.76 million viewers on ABC. Spain's 1-0 victory over Germany in Sunday's final got a 2.3 national rating, the network said Thursday. It was seen in 2.55 million homes. When ABC broadcast the 2006 World Cup final, Italy's penalty-kicks victory over France in the 2006 World Cup final got a 7.0 national rating. In addition, the Spanish-language broadcast on the ESPN Deportes cable network received a 10.08 rating in the Hispanic coverage universe and was seen by 647,000 viewers.