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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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Belgium ask FIFA to ban Fellaini for Everton game

Belgium have asked FIFA to prevent Marouane Fellaini from playing for Everton this weekend after the midfielder pulled out of their clash with Estonia on Wednesday because of surgery he needed on his wisdom teeth.

Everton believed that there was an agreement in place that if the midfielder played against Turkey at the weekend - he would be free to miss the match with Estonia. But the Belgian FA (KBVB) have insisted that Fellaini did not have coach Dick Advocaat's permission to miss the match on Wednesday, and as such they have asked FIFA to apply their five-day rule.

Under FIFA regulations - should a player miss an international fixture after being called up, and he does not have the permission of that country to do so - then he will be banned from playing any match for the next five days. That would mean that Fellaini could not play until next week - ruling him out of Everton's clash with Wolves.

"Fellaini is called for the match with Estonia. If he decides not to come, he knows the consequences," Belgium FA's director general Jean-Marie Phillips confirmed to De Standaard. "Mr Advocaat has asked that the FIFA regulations strictly apply and therefore Marouane may not play this weekend with Everton.

"The coach has talked with Fellaini, but I do not know what he said - I would imagine that he tried to convince him that the operation could be done another time - but he obviously did not succeed.

"I am happy that everyone around the Red Devils are on the same wave-length, but if FIFA decides in Everton's favour we will accept that."

Everton, though, insist that Fellaini will be free to face Wolves at the weekend.

"We released Marouane for both games and have complied with all our obligations," Everton spokesman Ian Ross said. "He had an understanding with the manager that if he played on Saturday, he'd be released from the Wednesday game. The manager appears to have changed his mind.

"But this is a personal dispute between the player and the coach. Everton's nothing to blame and in our view there is nothing that can prevent Marouane from playing on Saturday against Wolverhampton. "

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