Belgium replace injured Nicolas Lombaerts in Euro 2016 squad

Racing Genk defender Christian Kabasele called up by coach Marc Wilmots

Racing Genk defender  Christian Kabasele has been called up into the Belgium squad ahead of Euro 2016. Photograph:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Racing Genk defender Christian Kabasele has been called up into the Belgium squad ahead of Euro 2016. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

 

Belgium’s injured defender Nicolas Lombaerts has been released from their Euro 2016 squad with Christian Kabasele called up by coach Marc Wilmots to bolster a weakened defence.

Zenit St Petersburg’s Lombaerts has been struggling with a torn thigh muscle but would likely have played, especially given the absence of injured Belgium captain Vincent Kompany.

“Lombaerts will not be part of the official selections for the Euros. Christian Kabasele joins up with the squad this evening,” Wilmots said in a tweet.

Lombaerts, aged 31 and with 39 caps, had played seven of Belgium’s 10 qualifying matches for Euro 2016.

Wilmots also has concerns over another defender, Celtic’s Dedryck Boyata, who was injured in training on Monday.

Belgium, who have to confirm a 23-man squad by Tuesday’s Uefa deadline, have included the uncapped Racing Genk defender Kabasele, 25, as a potential replacement.

Belgium play friendlies against Finland on Wednesday and Norway on Sunday before facing Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden in Group E at the European Championships.

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