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By ESPN Staff

Goalkeeper Douchez called up, Gourcuff drops out

Rennes goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez has been handed a debut call up to the France squad by Raymond Domenech, who also confirmed the absence of Yoann Gourcuff through injury.

Gourcuff picked up a thigh knock in Bordeaux's Champions League victory over Maccabi Haifa and will now play no part in the World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Austria.

Douchez , 29, is one of four goalkeepers in the 24-man squad as Hugo Lloris faces a ban for his sending off against Serbia. Moussa Sissoko has been named in the list for the second time but there is no place for Loic Remy following Nice's poor run of results.

Meanwhile, Domenech has offered to help striker Karim Benzema after the player's 'unacceptable' admission that he had not felt like giving his best in last month's match against Serbia.

The Real Madrid player told a news conference last Sunday that he did not "really feel like playing, really feel like giving (my) best" when he came off the bench with five minutes left in the World Cup qualifier which ended in a 1-1 draw.

"I do not condemn anyone on a sentence," Domenech told reporters on Thursday. "It is not good to say (what he said). You can think this way a little bit but you cannot say it. It is unacceptable but I remain optimistic. I think he wants to do well. I want to offer a helping hand, even when someone is wrong and that is the case."

France face the Faroe Islands on October 10 at Guingamp before meeting Austria at Saint-Denis four days later.

Les Bleus are second in Group 7, four points behind Serbia and four ahead of Austria.

Squad: Carrasso (Bordeaux), Douchez (Rennes), Lloris (Lyon), Mandanda (Marseille); Abidal (Barcelona), Clichy (Arsenal), Escude (Sevilla), Evra (Manchester United), Fanni (Rennes), Gallas (Arsenal), Sagna (Arsenal), Squillaci (Sevilla); Diaby (Arsenal), L Diarra (Real Madrid), A Diarra (Bordeaux), Malouda (Chelsea), Sissoko (Toulouse), Toulalan (Lyon), Ribery (Bayern Munich); Anelka (Chelsea), Benzema (Real Madrid), Gignac (Toulouse), Govou (Lyon), Henry (Barcelona).


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