Deschamps won't be drawn on Benzema, Valbuena absence

Reuters , Thursday 12 Nov 2015

Didier Deschamps
France coach Didier Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps refused to be drawn on Thursday on how the absence of Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena would impact on his squad as they gear up for Friday's friendly against Germany.

Real Madrid striker Benzema and Olympique Lyonnais midfielder Valbuena are embroiled in a sex-tape scandal and were left out by Deschamps for the double-header against Germany and England four days later.

The coach omitted the pair, saying Benzema was injured and that Valbuena would be shaken by the whole affair.

Benzema was put under formal judicial investigation last week in connection with an alleged attempt to blackmail Valbuena with the use of a sex video.

"Ask me about the match and the 23 players I have called up. That will answer your question," Deschamps told reporters.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris added: "These stories do not concern sport. We support both Karim and Mathieu but we will leave the courts to deal with this".

Deschamps also rallied behind Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud who was booed for missing chances during France's 2-1 win over Serbia in September.

"All players, Giroud and others, can have difficult periods," the coach said.

"He is one of the six attacking players who will have a role to play in tomorrow's match and Tuesday's."

Deschamps also gave a positive assessment of 19-year-old Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman who has received his maiden call-up.

"Kingsley has great potential...he's fast, he can dribble and he can score," Deschamps said.

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