France coach Raymond Domenech names 23 for World Cup

Raymond Domenech and Lassana Diarra
Domenech (left) led Diarra and his team-mates in altitude training

France coach Raymond Domenech said on Monday the 23 players at his training camp will make up the final squad for the World Cup.

Domenech has decided not to replace midfielder Lassana Diarra, who was ruled out of the tournament on Saturday after suffering a stomach injury.

Defender William Gallas has been passed fit to play in South Africa despite fears about his fitness.

The two had formed part of a 24-man shortlist sent to the camp in Tignes.

“It’s complicated to take somebody out and we’ve had Lassana Diarra, who’s had a real problem,” Domenech told the French Football Federation website.

“Then we found ourselves with 23 players so we no longer needed to make a choice because that group here keeps showing us that we can trust them.

“Those 23 players will take us all the way.”

The France coach has until 1 June to submit to Fifa his final selection of 23 for the competition, which starts on 11 June.

He took 24 players to the week-long training camp in the French Alpine resort because of concerns about Gallas, 32.

The Arsenal defender has been out of action since March because of a calf-muscle injury but has received the all-clear to take part.


Diarra, 25, a former Portsmouth player now at Real Madrid, has been ordered to rest for an “indefinite period”, according to a statement from the FFF on Saturday.

“Medical tests have revealed an unforeseeable illness which justifies a rest period,” France team spokesman Francois Manardo said on Saturday.

“As a consequence, Lassana Diarra will miss the World Cup.”

Domenech said: “It’s a blow when you lose a player. It’s even harder because it wasn’t a choice, it’s destiny.

“It’s tough for him because I know how much effort he had put into this World Cup. He was one of the driving forces of this team in terms of the way he played and his attitude.”

It was thought that Diarra’s injury might force a recall because he was one of only seven midfielders in Domenech provisional group.

The anchorman played in 10 of France’s 12 matches in their 2010 World Cup qualification campaign.

Diarra, who also played for Arsenal and Chelsea during his time in England, missed training on Friday and Saturday after picking up the injury while altitude training on a mountain glacier on Thursday.

Although France open their campaign against Uruguay at sea level in Cape Town on 11 June, they then travel more than 1,000m up to play Mexico and South Africa in Polokwane and Bloemfontein respectively.

Since his injury Diarra’s defensive role has been filled by Arsenal anchorman Abou Diaby in training.

Domenech was thought unlikely to risk a repeat of Euro 2008, when he selected Patrick Vieira even though the midfielder had not fully recovered from a thigh injury.

Vieira never recovered and did not play in the tournament, where France went out in the group stages without winning a game.

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon), Steve Mandanda(Olympique Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux)

Defenders: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), William Gallas (Arsenal), Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla), Marc Planus (Girondins Bordeaux), Gael Clichy(Arsenal), Anthony Reveillere (Olympique Lyon)

Midfielders: Alou Diarra(Girondins Bordeaux), Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Yoann Gourcuff (Girondins Bordeaux), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyon), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille)

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