Ribery-less France still a threat, says Shaqiri

Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri said the absence of Franck Ribery will not affect France at the FIFA World Cup.

The Swiss meet the French in their second match in Group E on Friday, after opening their campaign against Ecuador on Sunday.

Ribery was ruled out of the World Cup earlier in June, after he was unable to be treated for pain in his lower back due to his fear of injections.

But Shaqiri said the absence of his Bayern Munich team-mate from Didier Deschamps' outfit would not disrupt France.

"France are still France," Shaqiri said.

"Of course Franck Ribery was the key player of this team and a lot of things depends on him but there are other players who can play this role.

"There won't be a big change."

Shaqiri said France's final warm-up match for Brazil - an 8-0 friendly win over Jamaica which included braces from Blaise Matuidi, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann - displayed their depth.

"France still plays the same kind of football," the 22-year-old said.

"Look at the 8-0 against Jamaica.

"France is a big team with a lot of young and high quality players. They can reach the unbelievable."

On the controversial penalty decision in the tournament curtain-raiser between Brazil and Croatia, Shaqiri sympathised with the under-pressure referees.

"This situation was no penalty but the player (Fred) stretched his arms in the air so it was not easy for the referee," he said.

"For sure referees often have to act instinctively. But decisions like this are never easy. I don't want to have to decide a situation like this.

"There's a lot of pressure on a referee. But for sure, the referees need to see this. But mistakes are part of football. Life will go on."