Kompany in Belgium's World Cup squad despite injury

Roberto Martinez has included Vincent Kompany in Belgium's World Cup squad, even though the centre-back is struggling with injury.

Published : Jun 04, 2018 14:02 IST

Vincent Kompany has been included in Belgium's final squad for the World Cup despite suffering an injury in the friendly against Portugal on Saturday.

The Manchester City captain sustained what is thought to be a groin injury during the 0-0 draw at King Baudouin Stadium.

There were concerns the centre-back could be left out Roberto Martinez's final group for Russia, with FIFA having imposed a deadline of June 4 for every competing team to finalise their squad.

Kompany has been included but his participation in the tournament is still in doubt, with Martinez confirming he will wait until the last possible moment before deciding whether or not to replace the 32-year-old with Laurent Ciman, who is on standby.

"The situation is very clear: we're going to try to use the rules," Martinez told a news conference.

"We need to make the final squad 24 hours before Panama [on June 18] so, until then, we're going to try to give the maximum time to see what the reaction is with Vinny.

"We've spoken very closely with Manchester City and the experience over the last few years is that Vinny's reaction to certain soft-tissue injuries cannot be described by a scan. You need to wait seven, eight days.

"The approach is very easy. He's a leader, he's been working extremely hard in camp, he performed in a fantastic manner while on the pitch against Portugal. It's essential for us to give him every opportunity. It's a World Cup, it's not just any competition."

Jordan Lukaku is among those to have been cut from the provisional 28-man squad, with Martinez concerned by his recent injury.

Matz Sels and Christian Kabasele have also been left out of the final 23, as has Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke, a decision Martinez described as the toughest he had to make.

It had been thought Adnan Januzaj and Leander Dendoncker would miss out after a television report showed footage of mattresses with labels identifying the players who would use them being prepared to be sent to Russia by a Belgian company. However, both individuals have been included.

Belgium face Panama in their opening Group G match in Sochi before taking on Tunisia and England.


Belgium's final 23-man World Cup squad in full:

Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool); Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham); Mousa Dembele (Tottenham), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian); Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

Standby: Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles FC).

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