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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 4 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 10, 2006

Club v country row simmers as Aussies pick Cahill

SYDNEY, May 10 (Reuters) - Australia included injured Everton midfielder Tim Cahill in their World Cup squad on Wednesday, heightening the threat of another club versus country row.

Cahill injured his knee in a match against Birmingham last month and Everton manager David Moyes said the club wanted the final say on whether he could go to the World Cup.

'That will be decided by Everton,' Moyes was quoted as saying on the English club's Web site. 'He won't go the World Cup until we think he's fit.'

But Australia's selectors included Cahill in the squad, despite Moyes's reservations, saying they expected him to be fit in time for Australia's opening match against Japan on June 12.

'The Timmy thing is going to be fine, he's working very hard and all the signs are positive,' Australia's assistant coach Graham Arnold told reporters at the squad announcement on Wednesday.

'David Moyes hasn't been too friendly to us in the past but if he was to deny one of his players the chance to go to the World Cup then I'd say he'd have a very unhappy player.'

Australia's top players, who are mostly based in Europe, have often found themselves caught in a tug-of-war between the Australian federation and their European paymasters.

Clubs have been reluctant to allow the footballers to return home during the season, sparking a series of bitter rows with Australia.

Cahill himself went against the wishes of Everton by making himself available for two friendlies last year but Arnold said he did not expect any problems about Australia's decision to choose Cahill for the World Cup.

'Those days of club versus country are gone,' Arnold said.

'Logistically we haven't changed, we're still Australia, we still live so far away from the rest of the world in football terms and it's normal that the premier league managers are going to worry about their players when they pay them so much money.

'But we have no concerns about Tim and he'll be at the World Cup.'