Dutch drop De Jong over leg break

World Cup runners-up exclude player from Euro 2012 qualifiers over tackle that broke Ben Arfa's leg in Man City game.

    De Jong boots Alonso in the chest during the World Cup final in Johannesburg in July [GALLO/GETTY]

    The Netherlands have dropped Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong from their Euro 2012 campaign over the tackle that broke Newcastle striker Hatem Ben Arfa's leg in an English Premier League match at the weekend.

    Dutch coach Van Marwijk was so shocked by the France international's double-leg break – which made sickening viewing on TV – that he saw "no other possibility" than to jettison De Jong.

    The midfielder was widely condemned after the World Cup final in July for a chest-high kick on Spain's Xabi Alonso.

    And it appears that Van Marwijk's patience has run out as he made the surprise move of dropping a player from the national team for an incident that happened in club football – and which received no punishment at the time from the referee.

    De Jong will not feature in the forthcoming qualifiers against Sweden and Moldova.

    "I just informed the squad and told them I saw no other possibility," Van Marwijk said in a statement from the Dutch FA on Monday.

    "In the near future I will discuss this matter with Nigel (de Jong) but right now we have to focus on the upcoming two matches."

    Double break

    Ben Arfa suffered a break to his left tibia and fibula in the challenge from De Jong four minutes into Newcastle's visit to the City of Manchester Stadium on Sunday.

    The challenge appeared routine at first but replays showed that De Jong's knee followed through, causing the Frenchman's leg to visibly snap.

    After receiving oxygen on the pitch Ben Arfa was carried off on a stretcher and X-rays confirmed a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg, Newcastle said in a statement on their website.

    The 23-year-old was due to undergo surgery on Monday and his return date is not yet known.

    The France international is on a season-long loan at Newcastle from French champions Marseille.

    He had scored one goal in three matches for his new club.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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