Netherlands recall Robben for Hungary double-header

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The Independent Football

Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has been called up by coach Bert van Marwijk for the first time since last year's World Cup in a provisional 27-man squad for this month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Hungary.

The Bayern Munich player's last appearance for his country finished in disappointment at the World Cup final in South Africa, which they lost 1-0 to Spain after extra time.

Robben, 27, suffered a hamstring injury a week before the World Cup but had treatment and joined the squad a week late. He played in the third group stage match against Cameroon and was first choice in the knockout phase, scoring twice.

On his return to Munich Robben was found to be suffering from a torn thigh muscle, which Bayern said he had sustained before the World Cup, and was sidelined until mid-January.

The injury led to a public dispute between the Dutch Football Association and the Bundesliga club, which was resolved when they agreed to play a friendly in Munich in May.

Robben was left out of the squad for last month's friendly against Austria, with Van Marwijk saying the winger needed more time to get used to playing regularly for his club.

The Dutch are top of Group E with 12 points after four matches, three ahead of Hungary, whom they face first in Budapest on 25 March and then in Amsterdam four days later. Van Marwijk will name his final squad on 18 March.

The Marseilles striker Brandao was yesterday held for a second day of questioning over rape allegations, French police said. The Brazilian was arrested on Tuesday morning at his home in Cassis. "He admits to sexual intercourse with this woman but not in the conditions she describes," said Brandao's lawyer, Patricia Clusan.

The woman accused 30-year-old Brandao of raping her at a motorway rest area after he offered to drive her home from an Aix-en-Provence nightclub last week. Police officers have visited the Marseilles training ground to question other players who may have met the woman at the nightclub, a source close to the investigation said. "Everybody is being questioned as part of the investigation," said the Marseilles coach, Didier Deschamps. "There is an ongoing investigation and it is a private matter. High-level athletes are public figures. They are accountable for what they do and say."

Brandao played in the first leg of Marseilles' Champions League tie against Manchester United. The second leg at Old Trafford is next week.

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