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Daily Record
Daily Record
Mark Walker

Carl Starfelt at centre of FIFA blast as Celtic star prevented from international recall to Sweden squad

Sweden manager Janne Andersson has lashed out at FIFA after he was prevented from handing Celtic defender Carl Starfelt an international recall.

The 27-year-old missed 12 matches for Celtic with a knee injury, but made his comeback in the Hoops' 5-1 Champions League trouncing from Real Madrid in the Bernabeu last week. He would have been in the Sweden squad for their friendlies against Mexico and Algeria for the first time since the Nations League qualifier with Slovenia in June where he played 45 minutes and won his fifth cap for his country.

However, Celtic aren't letting any players be released for international duty – except the World Cup – because it's not compulsory for clubs to release their stars, as stated by world football's governing body. Instead, Celtic's international players will be required to travel Down Under to play in their two friendlies in Sydney for manager Ange Postecoglou's return to his homeland.

And Swedish boss Andersson reckons FIFA have made a mockery of this month's friendlies because five clubs have refused to release players - Celtic for Starfelt, Spurs' Dejan Kulusevski, Spezia's Albin Ekdal, Legia Warsaw's Mattias Johansson and Jens Cajuste of Reims.

"It's very strange from FIFA," he fumed, before revealing: "We have five players who are not allowed to leave their clubs for our friendlies. FIFA have decided that only countries that qualify for the World Cup have to release players.

"It is not punishment enough that we missed the World Cup? I cannot understand how they have thought this through because there is no logic in it at all. We are completely in the hands of the clubs."


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