Warren defends Viduka, questions Kewell - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warren defends Viduka, questions Kewell

By Guy Hand 18/02/2004 08:04:44 PM Comments (0)

Former Australian soccer great Johnny Warren has backed AWOL striker Mark Viduka and taken a thinly-veiled swipe at Harry Kewell as the Socceroo no-show debacle continued without official resolution.

The Australian Soccer Association's (ASA) problems doubled in size after it emerged Swiss-based midfielder Scott Chipperfield had been on his way to Venezuela for Australia's friendly before turning around and heading home.

Chipperfield, the natural replacement for Kewell, got as far as Madrid in Spain where he missed his connecting flight to Caracas and flew home to Switzerland.

The ASA signalled the prospect of disciplinary action against the two key Socceroos over their South American no-shows.

But for the third successive day, the ASA dodged a decision on what action it would take against Viduka, and now Chipperfield, saying in a statement it was not yet in a position to decide their fate.

Warren urged the ASA not to invoke FIFA rules to have Viduka banned from Leeds' next club game as punishment for missing the Socceroos match.

And he also questioned Kewell's reasons for missing the Venezuela match and the Liverpool player's pre-taped appearance on Channel Nine's A Current Affair to defend his withdrawal.

Kewell pulled out of the match with an ankle injury.

"It's amazing how this (availability issue) has gone from Harry Kewell to Mark Viduka - amazing," Warren told AAP.

"When Ray Martin knows two days before the national coach does that Harry Kewell is not playing, if that's the way Australian soccer is going, then I don't want to know.

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