We're the pawns, laments Silvestre

  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 03 Apr 2003

PARIS: French defender Mikael Silvestre has joined the growing wave of criticism of the timing of this year's Confederations Cup tournament in France. 

“Honestly, one cannot say that it (the Confederations Cup) is a good thing after the experience of the 2002 World Cup when we were below our physical means,” the Manchester United player was quoted as saying in sports daily l'Equipe on Tuesday. 

“I'm not against that competition but I don't think it's the best preparation for the 2004 summer. Players can give their opinion, but they will not be heard,” he added. 

Clubs have slammed the scheduling of the Confederations Cup in June, saying it comes at the worst possible time when their players need to rest at the end of the season. 

“There is an established schedule,” Silvestre said. “It's too late to turn back. 

“If clubs, in order to protect their players, want to fight with federations, they will do. But their internationals will be suspended.” 

Silvestre, who said he would not refuse to play if selected, added that players were just being used in the struggle between clubs and national federations. 

“For us, the important thing is to think about France and its results,” he said. 

“There won't be any revolt from us. There are more important people involved. We are the pawns of coaches and officials. We're just commodities and that's it. Everybody is trying to use us for their own respective interests.” – Reuters 

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