Deschamps Hopeful On Rabiot As Virus Hits France Squad

France coach Didier Deschamps is hopeful that Adrien Rabiot will be fit for the World Cup final after missing Wednesday’s win over Morocco due to illness as he revealed several members of his squad had shown “flu-like” symptoms.

Midfielder Rabiot and defender Dayot Upamecano both dropped out of the line-up for the holders’ 2-0 win over Morocco in Al Khor, although the latter was named among the substitutes.

“Dayot was here but he wasn’t 100 per cent. He had a few difficult days and has had a fever, although he did train last night,” Deschamps said.

“Given the tough match we had tonight I decided to play (Ibrahima) Konate instead and he has already shown he can play at this level.

“Adrien was sick and so we left him at the hotel because we didn’t want to take any risks, but we now have four days before the final so he should be available for Sunday.”

Rabiot’s place in the French midfield was taken by Monaco’s Youssouf Fofana.

Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani got France’s goals, although Kolo Muani may not have come off the bench had winger Kingsley Coman not also displayed symptoms of illness ahead of the game.

“Kingsley came on in the last game but he also felt not great this afternoon so he wasn’t 100 per cent,” said the coach, who suggested Qatar’s omnipresent air conditioning may be to blame for some of his players falling ill.

“The air conditioning is on all the time and so we have had a few cases of flu-like symptoms but we will try to avoid it spreading,” he said.

“The players put in so much effort on the pitch and so their immune systems suffer. Your body is weakened and you are more prone to getting infected.”