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Didier Deschamps after the disallowed goal against Greece: “If we had had to play our qualification in this match…”

“The ball appears to have crossed the Greek goal line on Kingsley Coman’s blocked cross in the 90th minute. What do you think of the referee’s decision and especially the absence of goal-line technology for a Euro 2024 qualifier?
We are still at a very high international level. It’s surprising to say the least that there is no goal line. These are qualifying phases. If we had had to play our qualification in this match… There would have been no more goal line. We spoke with the referees. If they estimate 99% that the ball crossed the line… There is not a completely lateral image in relation to the goal line. Even if it could have given us the victory, it was not the absence of VAR that made us concede two goals in 5 minutes.

What pushed you to leave Kylian Mbappé on the bench?
It was part of the discussions I had with the players to distribute playing time and protect the players who also play on Friday. We will return to France at 5 a.m. I did my best not to take risks with some.

“The French team maintains itself at a very high level even if the players change. It’s a satisfaction to see the players maintain this level”

What assessment do you draw from 2023 with this last draw in Greece?
We are in a calendar year with the cessation of senior players after the World Cup. We made a very good transition by remaining undefeated with a group that was certainly rejuvenated but still with this competitive state of mind. There was also a good state of mind off the field. The French team maintains itself at a very high level even if the players change. It’s satisfying to see the players maintain this level.

The competition has strengthened in the middle, what did you think of Youssouf Fofana’s match?
There is very strong competition. Youssouf has already done good things at Nice when he replaced Warren (Zaire-Emery) after his injury (Saturday against Gibraltar). He scored another very good goal. In March, I will still need to strengthen some players. I am well aware that when I make eight changes from the first match, it goes against cohesion.

What state of mind are you in for the Euro 2024 draw (December 2)?
I’ll wait and see. Obviously, through the qualified countries and how the hats were constructed, that leaves uncertainties with Italy and perhaps Croatia in hat 4 for example. But we did everything to get our place as seed. The spell will come out of the balls. »

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