World Cup news

Deschamps: Diaby left out due to fitness

March 15, 2013
By Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Abou Diaby's fragile fitness cost him a call-up for France's crucial upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header, said national team boss Didier Deschamps.

Abou Diaby
PA PhotosAbou Diaby has had another frustrating season

Diaby, 26, has been blighted by injuries throughout his career, and this season has been no exception with a variety of problems limiting him to just 14 starts for club and country.

The former Auxerre midfielder was an unused substitute for his club's 2-0 Champions League win at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, his first appearance in Arsene Wenger's matchday squad since sustaining a calf injury against Aston Villa on February 23.

That was not enough to tempt Deschamps into making Diaby part of his plans for the Group I encounter with Georgia in Paris next Friday and the enticing meeting with world and European champions Spain in the French capital four days later.

"He took part in his first full training session the day before the [Bayern] game after almost three weeks out. I don't know whether or not he can play this weekend," Deschamps said. "Even if I hold Diaby in high regard, it's tough when you haven't played for three weeks. There's also the question of whether he'd be up to speed. Is he going to be 100%? There is too much uncertainty around him to include him in this squad."