Football: Australia give Kewell ultimatum

HARRY KEWELL has been told to "make up his mind" about whether he wants to play for his country by the Soccer Australia chairman, Basil Scarsella.

Scarsella wants the Leeds United youngster to pledge his immediate future to the national side or risk the possibility of not playing in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers after Kewell pulled out of Sunday's prestigious friendly with Brazil in Sydney due to calf and ankle injuries. Scarsella is also threatening to evoke the five-day rule - which means the withdrawn player must not play for his club for five days after the international fixture - a measure that could lead to Kewell missing the Elland Road clash with Bradford on 20 November.

"In respect to the other [Australian] players coming, it would be disrespectful on our part if we ignored the Kewell situation when they are making all efforts to come back and play against Brazil," Scarsella said. "We have asked Harry to come anyway but we have had trouble trying to get in touch with him personally, so we are relying on the advice of his manager [Barry Neville].

"But Kewell should make up his mind whether he wants to play for Australia or not. If he doesn't regard playing for Australia as important that is for him to decide and we will prepare for 2002 without the uncertainty of having players pull out."

Soccer Australia are also on the brink of lodging an official complaint with Fifa, world football's governing body, over Kewell's withdrawal from the clash and, in a tit-for-tat measure, are intent he does not play against the Bantams.

Their chief executive, David Woolley, said: "We don't expect Fifa to do anything but ratify this application and Leeds have no one to blame but themselves for losing Kewell for the match. Their whole concern was to have him available for that game and against our better judgement we finally agreed he would play just the one match against Brazil and then he would fly back to Leeds to be available for Bradford. But this way he is going to miss that match so it doesn't make any sense. The whole objective of Leeds has been nullified."

But Leeds do have a strong case because, although Kewell was called up for the two matches with Brazil, on 14 and 17 November, they agreed with Soccer Australia for the winger to play only in Sunday's game. The five- day rule from that date would fall short of the Yorkshire derby and so allow Kewell to play.

"It's something we are having to look at," said the Leeds secretary, Ian Silvester. "He was called up for both matches, although we negotiated it down to one, so it might be an interesting one for Fifa. But I have a feeling the five-day rule will come into force from the 17th. We might have to accept that because what we don't want is to get embattled with Soccer Australia because it could have ramifications for the future.

"But this was Harry's decision. We are as disappointed with what's happened as everybody else. He just didn't tell us he wasn't reporting for international duty."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam