He recently returned to training with Crystal Palace but faced a race against time to be fit enough for the tournament in Qatar later this month, and it was a race that the 22-year-old would sadly lose.
Richards confirmed the news on his Instagram page recently, writing:
“Gutted that this injury has ruled me out of the World Cup but I know that the boys will go crazy regardless … will be rooting for y’all the whole way. Go out and make history.”
The young centre-back is yet to start a game for Patrick Vieira’s side in the Premier League but impressed on his first start for the club against Oxford United in the Carabao Cup, earning an impressive 7.45 rating from WhoScored for his performance.
If it wasn’t for his injury, Richards would likely have been a shoo-in to be picked in Gregg Berhalter’s squad to travel to Qatar, as he has already earned eight caps for his country.
Berhalter was also full of praise for the defender in 2020 after some impressive form on loan with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
He said: “Chris is one of our central defenders of the future. I like his development very much. I find the cooperation between Bayern and the USSF to be outstanding. Together we’re trying to develop a great player from a great talent.”
It is a huge honour for any footballer to represent their country at a World Cup and it is a great shame for Richards that FIFA decided to stray away from nearly 100 years of summer tournaments by hosting this in the winter.
Indeed, the Crystal Palace man joins a long list of players who are set to miss out due to short-term injury problems.
While it is undoubtedly a huge blow for Richards, Palace fans will be hoping that he can continue his recovery during the World Cup break and be a good option for Vieira to have when the Premier League resumes.