Defending champions France will not replace the injured Karim Benzema in their World Cup squad.
This is according to coach Didier Deschamps who said he would not ask for a replacement for the Real Madrid forward even though FIFA’s rules give him until Monday to do so.
In a huge blow to France’s hopes of retaining the trophy in Qatar, Benzema was ruled out after the Ballon d’Or winner injured his left thigh in training on Saturday.
Deschamps brushed away questions about the French team’s handling of Benzema who had been nursing an injury for the past month.
“I know that you’re looking for controversy,” he said. “But everything is under control, (the injury) was not even caused by him accelerating or shooting.
“Anyone could have a problem like that and get injured.”
Deschamps said though that centre-back Raphael Varane would be available for the opening game against Australia on Tuesday.
The Manchester United defender has been side-lined with injury since October 22 but trained with the team for the first time on Saturday.