LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has strongly criticised Brazil for using the English champions' midfielder Edu in a friendly win over Haiti.
Edu played for 70 minutes of Wednesday's 6-0 rout in Port-au-Prince even though he had not reported back for training with Arsenal after helping Brazil win the Copa America.
“I'm not happy about this situation at all,” Wenger told reporters at their training ground on Friday. “I find it disrespectful of Brazil because we have not even seen the player since mid-May.
“It is disrespectful to us at Arsenal and disrespectful to the player as well because they have exposed him to a match when he was not ready to play.
“He even asked to come off at halftime because he knew he was not ready, and to select someone for an international match when they have not trained for a single day after a three-week holiday is unbelievable.
“With the number of players that Brazil have at their disposal, I find it amazing that they have played someone who has not trained.”
Edu will be rested for today's Premier League game versus League Cup holders Middlesbrough, when Arsenal will try to equal Nottingham Forest's record unbeaten league run of 42 games.
Edu's Brazil and Arsenal team mate Gilberto, who also faced Haiti, will be available to play against Boro despite his exertions and a tiring return journey to the Caribbean.
Wenger added that the latest club versus country row had made him mindful of buying more players from South America and Africa.
“I think it's okay if you have two or three in your team but this proves that you could not have seven,” he said.
Despite Wenger's anger over Edu's inclusion in Brazil's team, the 'Peace Match' in Haiti has drawn widespread praise both inside and outside the game.
The match was designed to promote harmony among the warring factions and was arranged on the initiative of the United Nations, FIFA and the Brazilian government, whose troops lead the UN peacekeeping force after civil unrest left many dead. – Reuters