Football: France blow as Varane ruled out of Euro 2016

French defender Raphael Varane controlling the ball during a friendly international football match between France and Germany ahead of the Euro 2016, on Nov 13, 2015 at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.
French defender Raphael Varane controlling the ball during a friendly international football match between France and Germany ahead of the Euro 2016, on Nov 13, 2015 at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - France defender Raphael Varane has been ruled out of Euro 2016 with a left thigh injury and will be replaced by Adil Rami, the French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed on Tuesday (May 24).

The FFF said in a statement that scans had confirmed the initial diagnosis of Real Madrid team doctors who estimated their player would be out of action for up to three weeks.

"Given the unavailability time considered too long against national team deadlines, (coach) Didier Deschamps decided not to retain Raphael Varane for Euro 2016," the FFF statement continued.

"As a result, the coach made the decision to integrate Adil Rami in the list of 23."

Sevilla defender Rami had been called up to Deschamps' squad Monday as cover in case Varane was ruled out of the tournament which gets under way in France on June 10.

The absence of 23-year-old Varane is a fresh blow for Deschamps who is already without a key defender as Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho was left out of his 23-man squad for the tournament due to a provisional doping ban.

"The clinical examination and MRI Tuesday morning at Rambouillet hospital confirmed the initial diagnosis of the medical staff of Real Madrid, namely a torn left biceps femoris grade 2," the FFF statement explained.

Varane will also miss Real's Champions League final against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

"I expect he will be out for two or three weeks. I hope for him it isn't as severe as anticipated," Real coach Zinedine Zidane had said earlier Tuesday.

"For sure it is a big blow, but above all for him. I am very disappointed for him."

The 30-year-old Rami has 27 caps for France and was a regular team member under the tenure of former national boss Laurent Blanc from 2010 to 2012 but had not been called up by Deschamps since June 2013.

He had a good season with Sevilla, winners of the Europa League and Spanish Cup finalists, and had been severe in his criticism of Deschamps after failing to make the initial squad.

France open their Euro campaign against Romania on June 10.