Amsterdam (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain is “on his right” for not allowing striker Kylian Mbappe to play for France at the Tokyo Olympics, national team coach Didier Deschamps admitted Tuesday.
“PSG, and perhaps other clubs elsewhere, have taken a position and this is on their right,” said Deschamps in Amsterdam, where he was taking part in the draw for the next UEFA Nations League.
His comments came after the French sports newspaper L’Equipe reported Tuesday that PSG had written to the French Football Association (FFF) to say that the 21-year-old World Cup winner would not be able to participate in the Games.
Clubs are not obliged to release players for the Olympic soccer tournament, which is not part of FIFA’s official international dates.
The Olympics will be held from July 24 to August 9, but the next French Ligue 1 season will begin on August 7. In the meantime, Mbappe will be part of the French team at Euro 2020, which will run from 12 June to 12 July.
“This worries me without me, because I’m not the coach (of the Olympic team), this is Sylvain Ripoll. These are the Olympic Games, which take place on FIFA dates, and the teams are the players’ employers” Deschamps added.
Mbappe has stated on several occasions his desire to play for France in the Olympics and FFF president Noel Le Graet previously confirmed that the striker had been included on a long initial list of 80 names for the tournament.
This list will be reduced to 50 names before being reduced to a team of 18 men, plus four players on standby. The rules allow only three players aged 24 and over to be present in the teams.
“I think it’s nice that a child of that age, who already has all the offers in the world, should say” I want to go to the Olympics. “But is it compatible with his other football commitments? This is a different question,” he said Le Graet, who was elected to the FIFA Council on Tuesday for a three-year term.
“PSG has the right to come and discuss the matter, but I would prefer that if a guy like him says” yes, I want to go “rather than” I couldn’t care less. “