euro 2012 news

Blanc names Saha and Gameiro in France squad

August 26, 2010

France coach Laurent Blanc named Everton striker Louis Saha in his 21-man squad and called up Lorient forward Kevin Gameiro for the first time ahead of next month's Euro 2012 qualifying double header.

The pair will get their chance to impress against Belarus on September 3 and Bosnia-Herzegovina four days later, but Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa and Barcelona full-back Eric Abidal have not been included.

Saha was selected in February by former France boss Raymond Domenech for the first time since November 2006, but had to withdraw through injury.

Lyon left-back Aly Cissokho misses out due to a hamstring injury along with Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery, who received bans of five and three matches respectively from the French Football Federation's disciplinary committee in relation to their conduct at the World Cup.

There is no place for Lyon midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, who must serve a one-match ban imposed for his part in the South Africa debacle but is available for the second match against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The fall-out from the team's lamentable performance in South Africa led to new coach Blanc suspending all 23 members of the World Cup squad from his selection for the friendly against Norway in Oslo earlier this month.

Nine players on duty in South Africa were recalled by Blanc today - goalkeepers Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda and Cedric Carrasso, Arsenal trio Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Abou Diaby, Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda, Bordeaux's Alou Diarra and Marseille's Mathieu Valbuena.

Les Bleus' World Cup campaign descended into farce as the squad went on strike after Nicolas Anelka was sent home from South Africa following an altercation with then coach Domenech.

France also finished bottom of their group, scoring just one goal and earning one point in three matches.

France squad: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux); Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Adil Rami (Lille), Philippe Mexes (Roma), Mamadou Sakho (Paris St Germain), Benoit Tremoulinas (Bordeaux), Gael Clichy (Arsenal); Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Jeremy Menez (Roma), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Florent Malouda (Chelsea); Kevin Gameiro (Lorient), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Loic Remy (Marseille), Louis Saha (Everton), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris St Germain).