September 8 – After French domestic club football was plunged into chaos because of a resurgence of Covid-19, the national team has now also been rocked with superstar Kylian Mbappe testing positive, forcing him out of tonight’s high-profile Nations League match against Croatia – a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final.
Seven Paris St-Germain players, including Mbappe’s stellar teammate Neymar, have tested positive in the last week. Now Mbappe, who scored the only goal as France beat Sweden in their Nations League opener on Saturday, is himself ruled out.
The French Football Federation (FFF) said the 21-year-old had returned a negative result before meeting up with the France squad but had since been found to have contracted the virus.
A statement from the FFF read: “Kylian Mbappé will not participate in France-Croatia, Tuesday evening at 8:45 p.m. at the Stade de France.
“The result of his Covid-19 test, carried out by UEFA on Monday morning, was found to be positive, he was placed away from the group after receiving the results, at the end of training, before regaining his home in the evening.
”Like the entire delegation, Kylian Mbappé had undergone a test prior to meeting. The result was negative, like the one last Wednesday, at the request of UEFA.”
Mbappe’s absence is another major setback to French champions PSG’s preparations for the new season.
Although the campaign is already under way PSG are yet to play having been given an extended break following their run to the Champions League final. Their opening fixture, a trip to newly-promoted Lens, is due to take place on Thursday before a home game against Marseille three days later.
Whether these will go ahead must now be in serious doubt especially since the opening Ligue 1 fixture between Marseille and Saint-Etienne was postponed after four home players tested positive for Covid-19.
The league told clubs last week its protocol for dealing with coronavirus meant more than three positive cases at a club was likely to lead to a postponement.
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