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Didier Deschamps explains Benzema's omission from the squad

International Edition By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 18/05/2017

Didier Deschamps explains Benzema's omission from the squad

France coach Didier Deschamps has emphasised on "harmony of the squad" as the main reason for the omission of the France international striker Karim Benzema from the French national team.

Benzema will be absented from the squad that will contest fixtures against Paraguay, Sweden and England in June.

Benzema has not featured for Les Bleus since being charged by police in connection with an alleged blackmail attempt targeting his international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, a case which is yet to go to trial.

The Real Madrid forward missed the EURO 2016 tournament on his home soil, although French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet announced in February that the decision regarding his return to the set-up rested solely with Deschamps.

With the returning Alexandre Lacazette and Kurt Zouma joining the likes of Ligue 1 champions Kylian Mbappe and Thomas Lemar, Deschamps has hinted that a look to the future could spell the end of Benzema's international hopes under his leadership.

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The coach told reporters: "The French team was built before the Euro, it consolidated through the competition where France managed to go to the final.

"The group continued to be in this qualifying phase [for the 2018 World Cup].

"I have a group in which there is harmony. I trust players who answered on the field, I incorporated young players because I consider that they have great potential.

"I am the only decision-maker, I make decisions in a sporting setting. For me, I always considered that a group is above everything else.

"I always make decisions for the good of the team of France.

"I always discuss with my technical staff before announcing the list. I've always acted like that, I do not change anything."
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