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SPORTS UPDATE

Qatar 2022: Deschamps makes shock decision on replacing Benzema in France squad

Head coach of France, Didier Deschamps, has said he won’t call up a replacement following Karim Benzema’s injury on the eve of the World Cup.

Benzema suffered a problem in his left thigh during Saturday’s training session.

The Ballon d’Or winner is expected to spend at least three weeks on the sidelines.

Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder and Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby are three players linked with a late call-up to take Benzema’s place.

Deschamps had until Monday evening to decide on a replacement, but he has now made the surprising decision not to call up a replacement.

He told Telefoot: “It’s obviously a big blow to lose Karim (Benzema). He had done everything [to be available], so had we. He was in a session and felt pain in his other leg after an innocuous action.

“The scans confirmed that unfortunately, it’s too big a strain compared to the schedule that awaits us. Will he be replaced? No.”

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