On paper, the dreamed selection for the Games looked great: Kylian Mbappé, Eduardo Camavinga, Jonathan Ikoné, Wesley Fofana, André-Pierre Gignac… With such talents, which could have prevented France from winning Olympic gold, 37 years after Los Angeles in 1984?
Probably not many people.
Now, to win gold or even a medal in Japan, France will already need to present a team to face Mexico on July 22 for their opener.
For the moment, it is far from being won.
Apart from Gignac, the players mentioned above will not be traveling, blocked by their club and employer.
A possible package of the Blues is not even to be totally excluded.
What is blocking?
The situation is gruesome.
The Olympic tournament (July 21 to August 7) does not appear in the dates of the international competitions of Fifa which, however, organizes the tournament.
Yes, it is incomprehensible.
The clubs therefore have no legal obligation to release their players who are also their employees.
Unlike a Euro or a World Cup, nothing and nobody can force them to leave them at the disposal of the Olympic selection at a time when the clubs start their season or play preliminary rounds of the European Cup.
The coach Sylvain Ripoll, the federation or the Olympic committee have no means of pressure except that of a skilful negotiation which, for the moment, is not bearing fruit.
And the time is in the emergency.
Which clubs refuse to release their players?
To put it simply, apart from Lyon, they are the biggest clubs in France but not only. PSG thus refuses to release Kylian Mbappé as he says no to Neymar and Marquinhos for Brazil. The reason ? The Olympics fall 10 days after the Euro or the Copa America when the players need to breathe before starting a daunting season. In turn, Colin Dagba is also deprived of a Japanese stay. Rennes, Lille, Nice, Monaco say no, they too: “There is an explanation for refusals, we are blowing in the middle. The position of Monaco who will play a preliminary round of the Champions League during the Games is understandable. But why Nice, who has nothing to play, refuses? It's incomprehensible ! “Abroad, Bayern Munich (Upamecano), Hertha Berlin (Tousart), Liverpool (Konaté) or Leipzig (Nkunku) are just as reluctant. Conversely,Brest, Angers, Strasbourg, Lyon, Lens say yes to send their players to the selection.
How many players are available?
The coach Sylvain Ripoll must present no later than June 30, the list of 18 players (including 2 goalkeepers) and 4 reservists who will make the trip. Two constraints stand in front of him. The regulations require him to take players born after January 1, 1997 with the exception of a maximum of three players outside the age group. Above all, Ripoll can only draw them from the prelist of 50 names communicated to Fifa and the IOC on May 19. “In this list, there are not enough players available to make a team, let alone a final list, blows a leader. Ripoll faces a real headache. He certainly needs 18 players but above all players at each position. For now, this is not the case. "Negotiations are underway with Fifa to allow digging beyond this list of 50. But for the moment,without return.
Which players are deprived of the Games and who will go?
The list of absentees is so long: Bamba, Soumaré, Ikoné, André among the Lille champions of France; Tchouaméni, Badiashile, Disasi, Fofana, Aguilar in Monaco; Camavinga, Truffert, Maouassa or Terrier in Rennes who confirms their refusal in a press release: “Stade Rennais does not release its players. The exchanges continue but to date they do not leave ”, says the Breton club. And conversely, who will go to Tokyo? Even Sylvain Ripoll does not have the answer. The only good news in his blocked horizon: André-Pierre Gignac, as we announced, is at his disposal. The Monterrey Tigers, his Mexican club, let him come. For the rest, it is a total blur. His only consolation is that the other qualified European countries, Germany and Spain, have the same huge worries.Les Bleuets will meet on June 28 at Clairefontaine. If all goes well.