France squad for Belarus & Bosnia qualifiers

PARIS - Nine players who took part in France's World Cup fiasco, among them goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and winger Florent Malouda, were named on Thursday in coach Laurent Blanc's squad for Euro 2012 qualifiers early next month.

Blanc had left out all 23 members of the World Cup squad for his first match in charge, a 2-1 defeat by Norway in a friendly in Oslo on August 11.

Nine of them return for the qualifiers against Belarus on September 3 in Paris and Bosnia four days later in Sarajevo, although the 21-man squad remained somewhat experimental with four uncapped players.

"To have a young team is a good thing but it's not enough to be competitive at the highest level," Blanc told a news conference. "We tried to come up with a mixture of talented youngsters and more experienced players who can guide them."

Blanc, who took over from Raymond Domenech after the World Cup and is trying to rebuild the team after their shambolic performance in South Africa, called up Lorient striker Kevin Gameiro for the first time.

"He's young, scores a lot of a goals and can be an interesting solution up front," Blanc said of the 23-year-old Gameiro, who scored 17 Ligue 1 goals last season.

The other uncapped players on the list are goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso and defenders Mamadou Sakho and Benoit Tremoulinas.

Midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, who was banned for one game for his part in the World Cup revolt and could have played the second qualifier, was not on the list.

"For the moment, Jeremy is not indispensable but he's an interesting player for the future," said Blanc, pointing out that the Olympique Lyon player had switched from holding midfielder to central defender at club level.

The French Football Federation (FFF) banned Nicolas Anelka for 18 matches, World Cup captain Patrice Evra for five and Franck Ribery for three. A fifth player summoned by the federation, Eric Abidal, escaped without sanction but Blanc did not pick him either.

Blanc also had to make do without playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, serving suspension after getting a red card in France's last match in South Africa.

France made a group-stage exit from the World Cup after boycotting a training session in support of Anelka, who was banished from the squad for insulting Domenech.


Goalkeepers: Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille).

Defenders: Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes (AS Roma), Adil Rami (Lille), Mamadou Sakho (Paris St Germain), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Benoit Tremoulinas (Girondins Bordeaux).

Midfielders: Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Girondins Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Yann M'Vila (Stade Rennes), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Jeremy Menez (AS Roma), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (Lorient), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris St Germain), Loic Remy (Olympique Marseille), Louis Saha (Everton).

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