Football: Debuchy out of French tests

Newcastle right-back Mathieu Debuchy will miss France's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Spain on March 22 and 26 with a left thigh injury, the French Football Federation said Monday, with Rod Fanni deputising.

Debuchy picked up the injury in Sunday's English Premier League loss at Wigan and had to hobble off in the 12th minute.

His club-mates Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko are retained in the squad.

"Mathieu has a thigh muscle injury. He is out of the two matches, we have called in Rod Fanni, who will join up with us this evening," said France coach Didier Deschamps.

Marseille's Fanni, 31, has won five caps to date, his last coming in 2010.

Two other potential options, Arsenal's Bacary Sagna and Lyon's Anthony Reveillere, are both already unavailable through injury.

Deschamps plumped for Fanni ahead of Saint-Etienne's Francois Clerc, who won the last of his 13 caps to date in 2008.

France began their Group I campaign with a 1-0 win in Finland and followed up with a 3-1 home victory against Belarus before a stoppage-time goal by Olivier Giroud earned them a 1-1 draw at world champions Spain in October.

France squad

Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (SC Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City/ENG), Rod Fanni (Marseille), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Christophe Jallet (Paris SG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ENG), Mamadou Sakho (Paris SG), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Newcastle/ENG)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle/ENG), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris SG), Dimitri Payet (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle/ENG), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

Strikers: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon), Jeremy Menez (Paris SG), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/GER), Loic Remy (Queens Park Rangers/ENG)