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Domenech confirms 23 players for World Cup squad

2 min

France coach Raymond Domenech will stick to the 23 players left on his World Cup squad after star midfielder Lassana Diarra pulled out due to illness, the French Football Federation confirmed.


AFP - France coach Raymond Domenech opted on Monday not to call-up a replacement for defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra to his squad for next month's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The French coach revealed on the French Football Federation (FFF) website that he was confident the 23 players he had with him at the ski resort of Tignes would perform well at the finals, which run from June 11 to July 11.

"We thought about it (calling up a replacement for Diarra) a long time," said Domenech, who had originally had 24 players at the camp until Diarra fell ill.

"However, we are placing our confidence in the 23 players here at Tignes, who are really hungry to go to the Worlkd Cup finals, and show us that every day," he said.

Diarra had been ruled out of the finals on Saturday after being diagnosed with an intestinal illness.

Diarra joined Real Madrid from Portsmouth in January 2009, having previously played for Chelsea and Arsenal.

With Lyon's Jeremy Toulalan he forms Domenech's first-choice defensive midfield partnership and he played in 10 of France's 12 matches in their 2010 World Cup qualification campaign.

Arsenal's Abou Diaby played in his position in France's training session on Saturday afternoon.

Les Bleus begin their World Cup campaign against Group A rivals Uruguay in Cape Town on June 11.

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