The illness that has spread through the French national team has struck a third player after Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano were eliminated in the semi-finals against Morocco on Wednesday. Kingsley Coman missed out on the Football World Cup final after missing training due to illness, becoming the third French international to have a problem with the illness.
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Les Bleus will take on Argentina at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday in an attempt to win their second straight Football World Cup after lifting the trophy in Russia four and a half years ago. Didier Deschamps’ side secured their place in the final by beating Morocco 2-0 thanks to goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Colo Mouani.
France are looking to bridge football’s past on Sunday night when they aim to become only the third men’s team to successfully win the Football World Cup. Les Bleus were victorious in 2018 and, if they beat Argentina in the 2022 final, will join Brazil (1958 and 1962) and Italy (1934 and 1938) for two consecutive FIFA World Cup victories. Others came close but ultimately failed, such as Argentina in 1990 and Brazil in 1998.
The previous time, around 2018, France left the country after finishing second at Euro 2016 at home, and have been training under head coach Didier Deschamps since 2012. En route to their first world title since 1998, Les Bleus led a potentially difficult group ahead of Denmark, Peru and Australia with 7 points in three competitions, they will again be tied with 2 of those 3 in 2022.
However, the French camp is beginning to ache after Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano were left out of the starting XI to take on Morocco. The pair fell ill due to the ubiquitous air conditioning in Qatar and did not risk the Atlas Lions, although they were named on the bench.
Now, L’Equipe has confirmed that Coman caught the illness after he began feeling flu-like symptoms ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s game. As a result, the Bayern Munich winger did not take the field and missed lunch with his teammates, and Coman also did not participate in France’s recovery training on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, Rabiot is about to resume running and Upamecano will take part in the session as the duo are feeling better after their bout of illness. Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe received minor blows from Morocco, but the trio is expected to brush off those issues in the final. Deschamps said: Coman also had a fever this morning. In Doha, the temperature has dropped a little, but the air conditioning is still on. We’ve had several cases of flu-like symptoms.
We’re trying to be careful that it doesn’t spread and the players have put in a lot of effort on the pitch and obviously their immune systems are suffering. Dayot Upamecano felt unwell immediately after the game against England. This happens when you stress so much, your body becomes weak and you are more prone to contracting these viruses.
“We are taking all the necessary precautions, we are trying to make sure that the virus does not spread, but viruses are of course contagious and we must take measures against them. We will separate him from the others, as well as from Adrian.”
It should not be understood that this is a registered camel flu, which is the common name for MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). Coman will be in good shape to reach the final, as will Karim Benzema, who could make a great return to camp ahead of the game against Argentina.
Benzema was ruled out of the Football World Cup after suffering a hip injury in Qatar on the eve of the tournament. However, he has returned to training at Real Madrid and Deschamps could call up the striker, who is still part of their squad of 26 after the France manager decided not to replace him.
Morocco lodge complaint to FIFA over Football World Cup clash against France, call for rematch
The defending champions secured a place in Sunday’s final against Argentina after goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Colo Mouani gave them a 2–0 win. Morocco expressed anger at some of the decisions made by referee César Ramos during the match.
By beating favorite teams from Belgium, Spain and Portugal, Morocco has shown that teams outside of the traditional realms of Europe and South America can compete on the game’s biggest stage. It ended with a loss to France on Wednesday, wiped out by injuries and some uncharacteristic defensive errors, but history has already made history.
Moroccan coach Walid Regraga’s squad arrived in Qatar with standout players (Chelsea’s Hakim Zie, PSG’s Ashraf Hakimi), but others such as Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat and Angers playmaker Azzedine Unai became breakout stars and likely earned future transfers to bigger clubs. For more know about Football World Cup Final Tickets.
By conceding an early goal to Theo Hernandez, Morocco somewhat spooked France before a late goal from Colo Mouani ended the match and sent Le Bleus through to the final. Despite the loss, they would return from Qatar as heroes, although not before a couple of days. Next up is Saturday’s third-place repechage match against Croatia, which on paper may not matter much. But given that this is a chance to leave the Football World Cup on a high note, we can all hope for one last bright moment.
One case in particular received the most attention. In the first half, Hernandez and Moroccan winger Sofiane Boufal clashed in the French penalty area, Bufal received a warning from Ramos. However, the replays seem to show that it was Hernandez who made contact with Boufal, and the Moroccan fans were adamant that they should have been awarded a penalty.
The Royal Moroccan Football Federation said in a statement: The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) strongly protested the refereeing of the Morocco-France match, which was officiated by Mr. César Arturo Ramos. To this end, FRMF sent a letter to the competent authority, in which it returns to the arbitration situation, which deprived the Moroccan selection of two indisputable penalties, according to a number of arbitration specialists.
“FRMF also expressed great surprise that the Video Arbitration Assistance (VAR) system was not responsive to these arbitration situations. FRMF reminds that it will spare no effort to protect and preserve the rights of national selections by advocating fairness in arbitration and condemning these arbitration decisions made during this World Cup semi-final showdown.”
Some fans have taken to social media to demand a rematch. One said: We demand a rematch between Morocco and France. Another tweeted: it was unfair to our team, the whole Moroccan country is in sorrow. France will now take on Argentina on Sunday at the Lusail Stadium, kicking off at 15:00 UK time.
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