World Cup: France says no replacement for injured Benzema
Didier Deschamps, the head coach of defending champions France, announced on Sunday that injured Karim Benzema would not be replaced in the World Cup squad.
The Ballon d’Or winner injured his left thigh during practice on Saturday, dealing a severe blow to France’s ambitions of bringing home the trophy in Qatar.
Despite having until Monday under FIFA’s guidelines to request a replacement for the Real Madrid forward, Deschamps stated he will not do so.
Even though the Benzema setback was “not nice,” Deschamps told France’s TF1 that he was confident in the depth of his team.
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In his words, “But we have an objective and we have a quality squad with players who know what awaits them. I have confidence in them.”
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.