FIFA World Cup 2022: The French football team has been jolted with injury blows ahead of their title defence in Qatar as key players have been ruled out. One such blow came when attacker Christopher Nkunku was injured during a training session on Tuesday. However, after Nkunku got ruled out of the marquee tournament, the French football team called for his replacement.

On its official Twitter handle, Les Bleus informed that attacker Randal Kolo Muani will replace Nkunku. “Didier Deschamps has called up Randal Kolo Muani to replace Christopher Nkunku!,” the defending champions wrote on their Twitter. Notably, the decision to rope in Muani came just before Les Bleus left for Qatar to begin their title defence. Muani plays for Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt and has donned the nation’s journey two times. 

FIFA World Cup 2022: Didier Deschamps ropes in Christopher Nkunku's replacement as French team flies to Qatar

Nkunku is the latest one to be ruled out of the French team. Earlier, mid-fielders Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and defender Presnel Kimpembe were ruled out of the tournament. Nkunku hurt his left knee when challenging Eduardo Camavinga for the ball during Tuesday’s session. The RB Leipzig forward immediately signalled he was in pain and departed the training field to receive treatment. 

Notably, defender Raphael Varane is still recovering from an injury and there are doubts over Karim Benzema’s fitness, which dents Didier Deschamps’ confidence. Varane had pulled off a hamstring the previous month. However, Benzema stated he is fine. 

“I’m fine. I had a bit of pain but no tear and no serious injury. I could have played (for Madrid) but I wasn’t at 100 per cent,” Benzema told L’Equipe TV. It wasn’t a case of taking or not taking any risks, it’s just that I wasn’t at 100 per cent. Since then I’ve been working well in the gym. I’ve been running, stretching, so it’s fine,” he added.

The French team is placed in Group D along with Australia, Denmark and Tunisia. They will face Australia in the opening match on November 22.