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Kylian Mbappé will not play in Tokyo Olympics

Kylian Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe holds the ball before kicking a penalty kick during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and FC Barcelona at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on March 10, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Kylian Mbappé was not on the France men’s soccer roster named Friday for the Tokyo Olympics.

His absence was expected, given his club team, Paris Saint-Germain, would have needed to sign off on him playing at the Games.

PSG had no choice but to let Mbappé play at the ongoing European Championship, and most stars do not compete in two major tournaments in one summer for national teams. Clubs prefer they rest ahead of their league seasons.

Mbappé, the breakout of France’s 2018 World Cup champion team, would have been particularly valuable to France at the Olympics. At 22 years old, he would not take up one of the three over-age roster spots for players born before Jan. 1, 1997.

France qualified for its first Olympic men’s soccer tournament since 1996. It took gold in 1984.

PSG wrote a letter to the French Football Federation (FFF) in early 2020, before the Olympic postponement, indicating Mbappe would not be released, according to L’Equipe, which also reported the club didn’t want Neymar to play for Brazil at the Olympics. Neymar was not on Brazil’s roster announced last week.

Both stars previously indicated that they were willing to play in the Olympics.

France’s three over-age exceptions are forward Andre-Pierre Gignac and midfielders Teji Savanier and Florian Thauvin.

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