Everton caught up in Fellaini row
Tuesday 13 October 2009
Everton expect to have Marouane Fellaini available for selection this weekend despite suggestions Belgian authorities might try to prevent him playing.
Fellaini is at the centre of controversy after pulling out of Belgium's World Cup qualifier against Estonia tomorrow to have a wisdom tooth removed.
Under FIFA rules the world governing body can ban a player from playing for his club for up to five days after an international fixture "in the event that the player, for whatsoever reason, did not wish to or was unable to comply with the call-up".
But Everton are unsure how they have been dragged into the row as they released Fellaini, as obliged, for the current batch of international games.
The 21-year-old played for his country against Turkey on Saturday and then apparently reached an agreement with national boss Dick Advocaat to undergo treatment.
Everton's head of PR Ian Ross said: "As a club, we have met all the required obligations.
"We were required to release Marouane Fellaini for the two international games - which we did.
"We were told that the player had struck an agreement with the Belgian national manager which meant he would be available for their game on Saturday but would then be omitted from Wednesday's game as he required minor surgery to remove a wisdom tooth.
"It would appear that the manager changed his mind and told Marouane that he would, after all, be needed on Wednesday night.
"Marouane said he still intended to go ahead with the operation - hence the resulting problem. It is a dispute between player and manager and does not, as such, involve Everton.
"So, we do expect Marouane to be available for selection for Saturday's game against Wolves."
Fellaini has been troubled for weeks by the tooth problem and has already delayed surgery.
Belgium are out of contention for a place at next year's World Cup but their football association are firm in their stance that Fellaini must report for duty.
KBVB director general Jean-Marie Phillips told De Standaard: "Fellaini is called for the match with Estonia. If he decides not to come, he knows the consequences."
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