France ‘Taking All Precautions' Against Illness Ahead of World Cup Final

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It has been plenty warm for the first-ever winter World Cup, but France is suddenly dealing with a cold ahead of Sunday’s final.

Coach Didier Deschamps revealed that defender Dayot Upamecano and midfielder Adrien Rabiot were isolated from the team after dealing with an illness in recent days. Neither player appeared in Wednesday’s semifinal win over Morocco, with Upamecano on the bench and Rabiot confined to the team hotel. Deschamps also said that Kingsley Coman, who was also on the bench for the semifinal, felt “feverish” before the match.

Deschamps is optimistic that he will have France’s full World Cup roster at his disposal against Argentina, but he said the team is exercising caution.

“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.”

France is not the first team to deal with flu-like symptoms in Qatar. Switzerland was down two sick players for its final group stage match against Serbia, and illness hampered the team’s round of 16 preparation for Portugal.

Les Bleus are on the cusp of becoming the first country to defend a men’s World Cup title in 50 years, and they do not plan on letting a virus hold them back.

“We are taking all necessary precautions, we are trying to make sure it doesn’t spread but viruses are of course infectious and we have to take precautions against it,” Deschamps said.

 

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