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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

No favorites in France vs Belgium match, says Bakayoko as Belgium apologises over Mbappe video

No favorites in France vs Belgium match, says Bakayoko as Belgium apologises over Mbappe video

Belgium’s FA have issued an official statement apologising after Amadou Onana was filmed singing a chant about Kylian Mbappe ahead of their match against France.

Belgium will take on neighbours France in the last 16 of Euro 2024 after both nations failed to top their group at the tournament.

France finished second in Group D behind Austria, while Belgium came second in Group E after Romania.

READ ALSO: Kylian Mbappe enquires about masks after suffering nose injury in France vs Austria match

Those results have set up a mouth-watering clash in Dusseldorf on Monday night – a repeat of the 2018 World Cup semi-final, which eventual champions France won 1-0.

Apology

Belgium have been forced to apologise ahead of the match after Everton midfielder Onana said he would tackle Mbappe “on the shin”.

In a clip published by the Belgian FA, Brussels-based comedian Pablo Andres says, “Who will kick Mbappe on the shin?” before Onana chants his own name.

Ahead of a press conference on Saturday, Belgium’s press officer Stefan Van Loock issued a public apology to Mbappe.

He said: “It was not the intention to attack anyone.

“We have been working with comedian Pablo Andres for a long time, this video also had to be funny.

“But we misjudged that and also took the video offline.

“We would like to apologise to anyone we may have offended with this. For us, this is the end of the matter.”

The incident adds extra spice to what already promises to be a full-blooded clash in the round of 16.

France head into the match as favourites with the bookmakers but PSV winger Johan Bakayoko doesn’t see it that way.

“Honestly, I don’t think there is a favourite,” he said.

“We have strengths and weaknesses, just like they do. Both teams fear each other.

“I only saw their match against the Netherlands and it was evenly matched. So, I can’t really comment on their team.

“But the key will lie in our own game. If we play well together as we already did and based on our strengths, we can of course win.”

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