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Football: French keeper Mandanda out of World Cup

France's second choice goalkeeper Steve Mandanda said he would miss the World Cup finals as he would not have recovered in time from a neck injury.

PARIS: Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has been withdrawn from France's 23-man World Cup squad due to an injury suffered playing for his club, the French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed on Sunday.

Mandanda, 29, who has won 16 caps and is habitually France's second-choice goalkeeper, has been replaced by Saint-Etienne's Stephane Ruffier.

Ruffier, whose only cap to date came in a friendly against Norway in August 2010, had been placed on a seven-man standby list by France coach Didier Deschamps last week.

Mandanda suffered a cracked vertebra in his neck following a collision with Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare in Saturday's final Ligue 1 match of the season.

The Marseille medical staff had said earlier on Sunday he faced six weeks on the sidelines and Democratic of Congo-born Mandanda admitted there was no way he could be fit in time for France's opening World Cup group game against Honduras on June 15.

"It is with sadness that I announce that unfortunately I will not be able to go to the World Cup," he announced on his Twitter account.

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