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Mbappé out of France’s starting lineup and on bench vs. Netherlands

France Kylian Mbappe Kylian Mbappe - The Canadian Press

LEIPZIG, Germany (AP) — Kylian Mbappé was left out of France’s starting lineup for its 0-0 draw with the Netherlands at the European Championship on Friday. He was an unused substitute.

Mbappé hadn't been certain to play after breaking his nose on Monday in the opening 1-0 win over Austria.

Mbappé trained wearing a face mask on Thursday and coach Didier Deschamps sounded optimistic that his star forward would be able to play. But Deschamps decided it was not worth the risk to play him against the physical Dutch defenders.

Mbappé appeared relaxed when he got off the team bus upon arrival at the stadium. He wore sunglasses but no bandage on his nose as he had when he resumed light training on Wednesday.

He emerged before Friday's game wearing a plain black face mask for the team's warmup, and sat on a football initially while the rest of his teammates stretched out. He was coaxed off the ball by a coach, then spent some time adjusting the mask and tapping it, as if to test its suitability, before he joined the substitutes in kicking a ball around.

UEFA equipment regulations prevented Mbpappé from wearing the same red, white and blue mask he wore to training on Thursday. “Medical equipment worn on the field of play must be a single color and free of team and manufacturer identification,” the rules say.

As well as featuring the French flag, Mbnappé's personalized mask the day before had his initials, the French Football Federation rooster, and his No. 10 flanked by two stars.

France and the Netherlands both have four points in Group D. Austria has three after defeating Poland 3-1 in their second group game earlier Friday. Poland has no points after two games and can no longer progress, even if it beats France in its final game because of its head-to-head record against Austria.


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