France coach Didier Deschamps has faced criticism for not personally informing Marseille forward Dimitri Payet he would not be going to the World Cup — from the player’s mother.
Asked on TF1’s Telefoot show if her son had been personally informed by Deschamps that he was not part of the plans for Russia 2018, she replied: “No. He found out watching on television like everyone else, with the family.”
Deschamps said the failure to call the forward, who had been prominent in the Euro 2016 campaign, had been a logistical one.
“I had a list of 23 players to deliver and many things to do so with the limited time I had, unhappily for Dimitri Payet I didn’t get round to it,” the coach explained.
Payet was far from alone as Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, Manchester United forward Anthony Martial and Arsenal’s Alexander Lacazette were all left off a multi-talented roster.
Antoine Griezmann will lead France’s attack, most likely alongside Kylian Mbappe or Olivier Giroud.
Strikers Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon) and Florian Thauvin (Marseille) all provide solid back-up options.