Arsenal star William Saliba left behind by France after anti-doping blunder

France and Arsenal defender William Saliba.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)

Arsenal defender William Saliba was left behind in Dortmund by the French team bus as he awaited clearance from anti-doping testers. The towering centre-back, who played the full 90 minutes in France's 1-1 draw with Poland at Signal Iduna Park, had to provide blood and urine samples post-match.

According to L'Equipe, France's bus departed around 9pm while Saliba didn't leave the stadium until approximately 10:30pm after completing the tests, exiting in a black van. He was escorted by members of France's technical staff and later reunited with his teammates at their Bad Lippspringe base camp.

France manager Didier Deschamps is now permitting his players to spend some time with their families ahead of the knockout stages. The 23-year-old's frustration is understandable, given that the families were expected to reunite with the players on Tuesday evening. Deschamps commented: "The family break will really do some good.

"Spending time with them during this competition is important. And then we will move on to the round of 16. It will be good for morale." France, who finished second in Group D after Austria claimed top spot, took the lead against Poland when Kylian Mbappe fired home from the penalty spot.

However, Robert Lewandowski later equalised from 12-yards, despite initially seeing a penalty of his own saved by Mike Maignan. Lewandowski stuttered and Maignan was ruled to have left his line, prompting a retake, which the Barcelona striker duly dispatched.

It was Saliba's Arsenal teammate that played a part in France's opening goal, and the first scored by the nation - that wasn't an own-goal - in the tournament. Jakub Kiwior bundled Ousmane Dembele over before Mbappe stepped up to convert and open his Euro 2024 account.

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Deschamps further discussed his team's performance, saying: "I'm not disappointed at all. Of course we wanted first place, but [Lukasz Skorupski] was excellent, he saved them. You have to give credit to the goalkeeper.

"You can score two goals from two chances, but you can also have seven chances, like we did today, and not score. I would be more worried if we didn't create any chances. We are where we want to be. We were in a very difficult group: Austria lost against us and won against the Netherlands. We deserve to be second, it's a new competition in the last 16."

France will now face the runners-up from Group E in the last 16. Belgium, Ukraine, Romania and Slovakia are all currently tied on three points after two matches.