Virus hits Dutch squad ahead of France Euro qualifier

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The Netherlands have lost five players due to a viral infection in the squad ahead of their Euro 2024 qualifier against France in Paris on Friday.

Defenders Matthijs de Ligt and Sven Botman, forward Cody Gakpo, midfielder Joey Veerman and goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen, have all been sent home by coach Ronald Koeman, the Dutch FA said on Thursday.

Koeman has called up Inter Milan centre back Stefan de Vrij, Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and Vitesse Arnhem keeper Kjell Scherpen as replacements.

The Netherlands face France before hosting Gibraltar in their second Group B qualifier on Monday.