Doha: A cold virus is running through the France squad ahead of the World Cup final against Argentina on Sunday, affecting at least three players in the squad.
Coach Didier Deschamps said two players with symptoms, defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Adrien Rabiot, were isolated earlier this week and didn’t play in France’s 2-0 semi-final win over Morocco.
Rabiot wasn’t in the line-up in Wednesday’s match at Al Bayt stadium. Upamecano was in the line-up as a substitute but didn’t play. Deschamps said Upamecano was recovering from “three difficult days” since playing in the quarter-finals against England on Saturday.
Expecting all players back
“However, we have four days until the next game, so he should be available for Sunday,” the coach said, adding backup winger Kingsley Coman had also felt feverish.
He insisted he expects all his players to be healthy for the final against Argentina.
“It’s ’flu season now, and in that sense, we have to be careful,” he said. “And also, the players have put in a huge shift and their immune system might be a little run down.”
Drop in temperatures
Switzerland also had an outbreak of heavy colds and had two starters missing for a decisive group-stage game against Serbia.
The daytime heat has settled at around 25-27 Celsius (77-81 Fahrenheit) for the final week of the monthlong tournament, which started with temperatures in the low-30s (high 80s).
“The temperatures have dropped in the last few days, and you always need to be careful,” Deschamps said. “Regarding the virus, we’re not worried, really.”