Belgium keep injured defender Kompany in World Cup squad

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Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez said on Monday he put Vincent Kompany in his line-up for the World Cup, retaining the Manchester City captain in his squad despite a groin injury but putting Laurent Ciman on standby for the tournament in Russia.

Martinez said that World Cup rules allowed the final squad to be named 24 hours before they kick off their campaign. Belgium play Panama on June 18 before facing other Group G opponents Tunisia and England.

The 32-year-old Kompany came off during Belgium’s friendly against Portugal on Saturday with an injured groin.

The four players cut are goalkeeper Matz Sels, defenders Christian Kabasele and Jordan Lukaku and striker Christian Benteke, whom he called an ‘impressive figure’ although he scored just three goals for Crystal Palace in the past season.

Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi will go as Belgium’s number nines.

Prior to the World Cup, Belgium on Wednesday (June 6) will play a friendly warm-up match against Egypt, a team Martinez called ‘very competitive’ with ‘probably one of the best defensive structures’ to take part in the World Cup.