France head coach Dider Deschamps confirmed on Sunday that he will not add Mamadou Sakho to his Euro-2016 squad, even if the centre-back is allowed to return to action after serving a provisional drugs ban.
Sakho has been a key player for Euro hosts France at the heart of their defence in the last couple of years, but he was given a 30-day suspension after failing a drugs test while playing in the Europa League for Liverpool.
Deschamps has plenty of problems at the back, with Sakho’s first-choice partner Raphael Varane, and Barcelona’s Jeremy Mathieu, being ruled out of the tournament through injuries.
Uefa are yet to announce their decision on when Sakho can come back, but Deschamps said that he would keep faith in the players he named in his initial squad.
“Seriously? No. Or I have no respect for the players I selected,” the coach said when asked if he’d bring back Sakho.
“When I decided (on the squad), there was no evidence that the end (for Sakho) would be positive, even if it needed confirmation.”
Deschamps, who captained France to triumph in Euro 2000, on Saturday called up uncapped Lyon defender Samuel Umtiti to take the place of Mathieu.
France play Cameroon in a friendly in Nantes on Monday as they continue to prepare for the opening match of the finals at the Stade de France against Romania on June 10.
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