Aston Villa block Thierry Henry including duo in France's Olympic squad

France had hoped to call on Moussa Diaby and Lucas Digne
-Credit: (Image: PA)


Aston Villa have blocked Thierry Henry from including Lucas Digne and Moussa Diaby in France's squad for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The Olympic Football Tournament is not ratified or formally recognised by FIFA, meaning clubs have the power to prevent the release of their players for the competition.

The Villa pair were just two stars that missed out on Henry's provisional squad. Chelsea have denied Benoit Badiashile and Malo Gusto, while Arsenal have blocked William Saliba's involvement. The Olympic Football Tournament is due to run from July 24 to August 10, meaning players who represent their nation would miss pre-season.

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France boss Henry had announced a bumper preliminary squad list that must be trimmed down before July 3. The squad is largely made up of young players, while bosses can pick three over the age of 23.

"We received two 'no's' twenty-five minutes ago, just before going down (to the press conference]," Henry said. "It was difficult to go back to more [than two players over 23]. But there will be three players over 23 in the final list, that's for sure.

"It's not easy to find yourself in the situation of asking certain foreign clubs to leave their players. They are within their rights, it is not a FIFA date. We will try to find ways to get players, but believe me, it's not easy."

Those two players are believed to be Villa's Digne and Diaby, as per L'Equipe.

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