France ditch William Saliba as team bus leaves without Arsenal ace after Euro 2024 draw

William Saliba was left behind by the France team bus (Image: GETTY)

The France team bus was forced to leave Arsenal defender William Saliba behind in Dortmund as he waited for the all-clear from anti-doping testers.

The towering centre-back, who played the full 90 minutes as Poland held Les Bleus to a 1-1 draw at Signal Iduna Park, was held back after the contest to provide blood and urine samples.

However, L’Equipe are reporting that France’s bus had to depart around 9pm and Saliba did not emerge from the stadium until around 10.30pm after completing the tests and leaving in a black van.

He was accompanied by members of France’s technical staff and later joined his team-mates at their Bad Lippspringe base camp.

Importantly, France boss Didier Deschamps is now allowing his players to spend some time with their families ahead of the knockout stages.

The families of the players were expected to reunite on Tuesday evening, adding to the frustration for the 23-year-old.

Deschamps stated: “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 came second in Group D after Austria clinched the top spot, took the lead against Poland when Kylian Mbappe scored from the penalty spot.

However, Robert Lewandowski later equalised from 12-yards despite his initial penalty being saved by Mike Maignan.

After a retake due to Maignan leaving his line, the Barcelona striker successfully dispatched the ball.

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates scoring against Poland (Image: GETTY)

Deschamps further commented on his team’s performance: “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.