France Coach Bans Jewellery

A member of France’s coaching staff removed the necklace during the World Cup clash


Didier Deschamps will stop his France players from wearing jewellery in Saturday’s World Cup quarterfinal against England after saying Jules Kounde was “very lucky” to escape his anger for being told to remove a gold necklace during Sunday’s 3-1 win against Poland.

Barcelona defender Kounde was forced off the pitch in the 43rd minute of the Round of 16 tie at Al Thumama after referee Jesus Valenzuela spotted the full-back’s gold chain on the outside of his shirt.

One of Deschamps’ assistants had to remove Kounde’s necklace while the player attempted to take a throw-in with the 24-year-old unable to take it off himself.

And although the incident didn’t impact on France’s progression to the last eight, Deschamps said there will not be a repeat of his players wearing jewellery on the pitch.

“He [Kounde] shouldn’t have started the game with that on,” Deschamps said. “I don’t know what he has on the necklace, but I know he’s a bit superstitious and he wears it in training too.

“I don’t know what the necklace meant to him, but I told him he was very lucky that I didn’t catch him in front of me at that moment.

“The referee told us that as soon as there was a stoppage in play, he had to take it off. If I had seen him wearing it in the dressing room, I’d have told him to take it off before he even went onto the pitch.

“You can’t play football wearing sunglasses or a watch or ring. It’s not allowed. I thought he’d taken it off, but he hadn’t. It’s our fault, our mistake, and it won’t happen again.”

Defending world champions France face England at Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday, with the two countries set to meet in a World Cup for the first time England achieved a 3-1 win in their opening group game at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

The two nations have not played each other since France claimed a 3-2 victory in Paris in June 2017.