Belgium ‘withdraw from pre-Euro 2020 game with France’ over fears they could lose world No 1 ranking with Didier Deschamps’ side struggling to find friendly opponents
- Belgium have pulled out of a pre-Euro 2020 friendly against France in March
- It is claimed the Belgians don’t want to risk defeat and losing their No 1 ranking
- England are also said to be afraid of playing France, preferring Italy instead
Euro 2020 starts on June 12 and teams are frantically searching for opponents to play in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
France are finding it particularly difficult though with Belgium pulling out of a friendly with Didier Deschamps’ side amid fears of a heavy defeat.
France are struggling to find opponents for Euro 2020 warm-up matches in the new year
According to French newspaper L’Équipe, a ‘series of European nations are ducking France’, including the Belgians and England, because they are worried a heavy defeat could affect performances at the tournament.
However, it is claimed Roberto Martinez no longer wants his team to play the French in March and those in charge of organising the game believe Belgium are worried they could lose their No 1 world ranking to Les Bleus.
A source said: ‘Other nations are in the same mindset. They say that losing to France would not be the best way to begin their preparation for the Euros.
‘England, for example, would prefer to face Italy during this period.’
It is claimed Roberto Martinez no longer wants his Belgium team to play the French in March
France will need all the preparation they can get after being given a nightmare draw in the group stage.
They will be joined by a team from Path A/D following the tournament draw in Bucharest on Saturday.
That Path A/D team could be any of Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo.