Three key France players out of training with illness ahead of World Cup final

Players forced to isolate as Les Bleus prepare for Sunday's match against Lionel Messi's Argentina

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France were anxiously awaiting news on the health of three key players as they trained for the World Cup 2022 final against Argentina in Doha.

Defending champions France were forced to exclude defenders Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate and winger Kingsley Coman from a training session on Friday because they had cold-like symptoms.

Their absence led to fears of a virus in the French camp after two players - Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano - were earlier ruled out of the semi-final win over Morocco.

However, both Rabiot and Upamecano returned to training. The French Football Federation (FFF) said Coman had already been forced to miss training on Thursday because of a "light viral syndrome".

However, France forward Randal Kolo Muani played down the illnesses concerns. But he said the team is following strict health protocols.

"I think there is a flu going around; it's nothing too serious and they will be fine I think for Sunday," said Eintracht Frankfurt striker Kolo Muani, who scored France's second goal against Morocco.

"Everyone is being careful. The doctors have put in place a hygiene system to avoid the virus spreading.

"The sick players are in their rooms. We're washing our hands all the time and we try and keep the social distancing thing in place too. We're very strict on these rules."

Forward Ousmane Dembele insisted the situation and ongoing uncertainty was not a distraction.

"We're not scared of the virus," said the Barcelona player.

"Dayot and Adrien, they had a headache, maybe a sore tummy, but they've got tea and ginger and honey and that helps them a lot.

"We're not preoccupied by that, so hopefully everyone will be fully fit for Sunday's game."

Updated: December 17, 2022, 7:18 AM