France coach Deschamps refuses to discuss holidaying Benzema

“I am focusing on the 24 players who are here,” Deschamps said when asked about Karim Benzema holidaying after leaving the FIFA World Cup midway due to a thigh injury.

French footballer Karim Benzema (C) gestures as he arrives at La Reunion’s Roland-Garros airport in Sainte-Marie on November 29, 2022.

French footballer Karim Benzema (C) gestures as he arrives at La Reunion’s Roland-Garros airport in Sainte-Marie on November 29, 2022. | Photo Credit: AFP

“I am focusing on the 24 players who are here,” Deschamps said when asked about Karim Benzema holidaying after leaving the FIFA World Cup midway due to a thigh injury.

France coach Didier Deschamps refused to discuss Karim Benzema after the injured Ballon d’Or winner was spotted arriving on holiday on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion following his withdrawal from the World Cup.

The Real Madrid striker pulled out of the France squad with an injured left thigh on the eve of the tournament and departed their team hotel in Qatar soon afterwards.

He arrived on Reunion, a French overseas department, early on Tuesday morning following rumours in Spain that he might return to training with his club.

Sources close to Benzema said the player would stay on the island for a week.

“I spoke to Karim after his departure, and you know what his situation is and how long he will be out for,” Deschamps said about the star striker.

“I spoke to Karim after his departure, and you know what his situation is and how long he will be out for,” Deschamps said about the star striker. | Photo Credit: AFP

Asked about Benzema, who is still officially part of the France squad at the World Cup having not been replaced, Deschamps dismissed the question.

“You are fishing for things there, but these things are not on my mind. I don’t know who is saying what, where or how,” the France coach said at a press conference in Doha ahead of Wednesday’s final group game against Tunisia.

“I spoke to Karim after his departure, and you know what his situation is and how long he will be out for.

The French Football Federation said Benzema would be sidelined for three weeks after he picked up the injury, technically meaning he could be fit to return for the end of the World Cup should France go that far.

The French Football Federation said Benzema would be sidelined for three weeks after he picked up the injury, technically meaning he could be fit to return for the end of the World Cup should France go that far. | Photo Credit: AFP

“I am focusing on the 24 players who are here. I’ll let you talk about that and debate it if you want, but I am not going to talk about things that don’t affect what we are doing here from day to day.”

The French Football Federation said Benzema would be sidelined for three weeks after he picked up the injury, technically meaning he could be fit to return for the end of the World Cup should France go that far.

France have won both Group D games so far at the tournament against Australia and Denmark and a draw against Tunisia on Wednesday will guarantee that they progress to the last 16 as winners of their section.

Even a defeat will suffice so long as Australia do not beat Denmark and manage to overturn France’s advantage on goal difference, which is currently superior by six.

Tunisia have to win the game at Education City Stadium to have a chance of advancing.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :
Download Sportstar App
Download Sportstar App
 Pen, Paper and Podcast with Vijay Lokapally
Connect With Us