France midfielder Adrien Rabiot's refusal to be World Cup reserve 'massive mistake' - Didier Deschamps
CLAIREFONTAINE-EN-YVELINES, France -- France coach Didier Deschamps has confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot has refused a role as a reserve for this summer's World Cup and branded the 23-year-old's decision "a massive mistake."
Rabiot notified Deschamps on Monday that after failing to make the 23-man squad for the trip to Russia, he does not want to spend his summer waiting in hope for a call to arms in Eastern Europe.
Speaking at Clairefontaine on Wednesday as Les Bleus gathered for the start of their pre-World Cup camp, Deschamps immediately tackled the issue.
"It was not a letter, it was an email that arrived on Monday," Descamps specified. "I called Adrien and sent him an SMS, to be sure that he had sent it. He did not respond. My administrative chief told me that it was confirmed to be from him. I warned my president [Federation Francaise de Football's Noel Le Graet] and PSG's president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi].
"I was surprised. I can understand [his] immense disappointment. However, to take this decision because of that... He has automatically excluded himself. I dare to hope that he will mature and reflect after this massive mistake. There is no place for this sort of behaviour. I have taken note of this.
"However, I will not create a story for days out of it. He has refused to be part of the reserves, to follow some instructions [to keep him ready for action] and [be] called up if needed -- that is his choice, he owns it."
When asked if Rabiot will be back under his leadership, Deschamps stressed that he would not be rushing his choice on that front.
"I have never taken rash decisions," said Deschamps. "Adrien is at fault, full stop. To take such a decision when the France national team comes above all... He is only 23 years old -- it is up to him to learn."
FFF president Noel Le Graet also weighed in on the issue via an official communique regarding Rabiot's decision.
The French football supremo hailed the PSG player as a "dear boy," but refused to excuse his actions and reiterated Deschamps' stance that he has "punished himself."
"Adrien is a player of high quality and a dear boy, who has always behaved well when with the national team," Le Graet said. "Therefore, his reaction was very surprising. His disappointment does not authorise him to abandon his duty to put himself at France's service, though.
"To be part of the French team, to be among the 30 best players in the country, is fortunate and one of the privileges of a player's career.
"Adrien has taken a bad decision and punished himself alone."
Rabiot endured a difficult second season under now Arsenal coach Unai Emery and has 12 months left on his current contract, which PSG are trying to renew.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.