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Liverpool Boss Furious Over Dutch Handling of Kuyt

Nothing ticks off a club manager more than sending his players off for international duty only to have them return injured. Recent examples include Manchester United's dispute with England officials over Wayne Rooney, who, they might argue, has yet to return to full fitness, after the striker broke his metatarsal prior to the World Cup; more recently, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said France and its coach, Raymond Domenech, had treated his fatigued midfielder Claude Makelele "like a slave" by forcing him to play. Today, Liverpool's Rafa Benitez has become the latest manager to speak out on the club-vs.-country controversy, after striker Dirk Kuyt suffered an injury setback playing for the Netherlands over the weekend. Said Benitez: "If Kuyt is a doubt for Wednesday, it means he is not fit. They were talking about seeing if he can play. If he plays, he may miss the next three or four games for Liverpool, including Blackburn, the Champions League and Manchester United." Instead of returning the player to Liverpool, Dutch officials have opted to keep the striker through Wednesday on the off-chance the player recovers sufficiently from his injury to play in Wednesday's qualifier against Albania. If Kuyt comes back even worse, where is Liverpool's compensation? Benitez says national associations should have to pay players wages for the duration of an injury sustained on international duty.

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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