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Mbappe Will Not Play for France at Paris Olympics

PARIS: Kylian Mbappe has confirmed he will not be participating in the Olympic Games in Paris, citing his new club, Real Madrid’s, opposition to the idea. Although the 25-year-old had expressed a strong desire to play in the Olympics at home earlier this year, he acknowledged the club’s stance and the constraints of the FIFA calendar.

“The club’s position was very clear, so from that moment on, I think I knew I wouldn’t be taking part in the Games,” Mbappe told reporters ahead of France’s Euro 2024 Group D match against Austria. He added, “That’s just the way it is, and I understand that too. I’m joining a new team in September, so it’s not the best way to start an adventure.”

The Olympic soccer tournament does not fall within FIFA’s official calendar, which means clubs are not required to release their players for the event. Despite being left out of the preliminary 25-man squad for the Olympics earlier this month, head coach Thierry Henry had indicated that there might still be an opportunity for Mbappe. However, with Real Madrid’s clear directive, Mbappe has decided to focus on his commitments with the club.

Expressing his support for the French Olympic team, Mbappe said, “I’m going to wish this French team all the best. I’m going to watch every game. I hope they’ll win the gold medal.”

The men’s Olympic football competition is set to begin on July 24, just ten days after the European Championships final, and will conclude on August 9.(Reuters)

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