FRANCE

Deschamps responds to Leonardo over Mbappé criticism

Didier Deschamps insists he "didn't disrespect anyone" responded to Leonardo's criticism after Kylian Mbappé's positive coronavirus test.

I don't think I disrespected anyone – Deschamps responds to Leonardo over Mbappe criticism

France coach Didier Deschamps responded to Leonardo following the Paris Saint-Germain sporting director's criticism over the handling of Kylian Mbappé's positive coronavirus test.

Mbappé was withdrawn from the France squad after testing positive for Covid-19, but Les Bleus were still too strong for Croatia, beating their Nations League rivals 4-2 on Tuesday. Leonardo was unhappy to hear about the PSG star's positive test through the media and felt the Ligue 1 champions had been disrespected. But Deschamps dismissed any suggestions that France had been disrespectful, saying they were rushed into releasing the confirmation.

We had to deal with Mbappé situation quickly, says Deschamps

"I will give the facts - at the end of the training session, Kylian has a positive test. It was a situation we had to deal with quickly by isolating him from the rest of the group," he told a news conference, via L'Equipe. "At the same time, we had another 10 tests pending and the results arriving in dribs and drabs. We arranged for Kylian to be taken care of so he could go home. I would add that for all the players who test positive there is a need for confirmation from the laboratory, which takes time, because they re-analyse. We have this confirmation around 10 p.m. In the meantime, one of you [the press] has released the info. So that it didn't cause a media storm, we decided to issue a press release. That's what happened. We were in a hurry. There was little doubt, but we were supposed to wait for confirmation. I don't think I disrespected anyone."

Mbappé is set to miss PSG's opening Ligue 1 game of the 2020-21 season against Lens on Thursday.