• Belgium hit by player withdrawals


    BRUSSELS: Belgium’s Euro 2016 hopes were hit on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) with news that defenders Nicolas Lombaerts and Dedryck Boyata had been ruled out through injury, coach Marc Wilmots said Monday.

    Wilmots called up uncapped Genk defender Christian Kabasel for a backline already starved of the presence of Vincent Kompany and Bjorn Engels.

    “Even with all these injured players, I have a defence with Toby Alderweireld, Jason Denayer, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen. It’s not too bad after all,” Wilmots said.

    Zenit St Petersburg’s Lombaerts had been uncertain for some time with a thigh muscle tear, while Celtic’s Boyata pulled up in training on Monday, also with a muscle tear.

    The Belgian squad will continue to train at Genk ahead of their final warm-up matches against Finland, on Wednesday, and Norway, on Saturday, at Brussel’s King Baudouin stadium.

    Wilmots’ side, second to Argentina in the FIFA world rankings, will face Italy, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland in Group E of the Euros which start in France on June 10.



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