France is following strict medical rules to prevent the disease virus from spreading through its team ahead of Sunday’s delicious World Cup final with Argentina.
Question marks surround the availability of a handful of French players, with some forced to self-isolate in their rooms at the team’s base in Qatar.
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot was absent in Wednesday night’s 2-0 semi-final win over Morocco, while Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman have not been well either.
In addition, defenders Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate have reportedly been affected by illness.
Les Bleus striker Randal Kolo Muani told a news conference that he hoped his teammates would be fit to face Argentina, though a French press officer was quick to intervene that the player is “not a doctor” and said that more information would be provided later.
“I think there is a flu going around; It’s nothing serious and I think they’ll be fine by Sunday,” said Eintracht Frankfurt striker Kolo Muani, scorer of his country’s second goal against Morocco.
“Everyone is being careful. Doctors have put in place a hygiene system to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The sick players are in their rooms. We wash our hands all the time and try to maintain social distancing as well. We are very strict with these rules.”
France manager Didier Deschamps will be eager to get healthy as the defending champions try to retain the trophy and ruin the dream of Argentina captain Lionel Messi.
But, with some players currently unable to train, the situation is far from ideal preparation.
Les Bleus striker Ousmane Dembele insisted that the situation and the constant uncertainty were not a distraction.
“We are not afraid of the virus,” said the Barcelona player. “Dayot and Adrien had a headache, maybe a stomach ache, but they have tea, ginger and honey and that helps a lot.
“We’re not worried about that, so we hope everyone is fully fit for Sunday’s game.”
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