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Capello defends England´s Doha trip

SoccerNews in English Premier League, World Cup 30 Oct 2009

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Fabio Capello insists England’s trip to Qatar to face Brazil in a lucrative friendly next month is a worthwhile exercise.

The English Football Association have come under fire for agreeing to the fixture in the middle of a hectic period of Premier League and European action.

Stars like Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Steven Gerrard face a draining 6,500-mile round journey for a relatively meaningless match.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, while not specifically mentioning the Doha fixture on November 14, is frustrated by “the intrusion of a friendly game in some unknown country” in the midst of the club season.

But England coach Capello insists his players will return from international duty fresher than those from other countries.

Several teams are involved in World Cup play-offs and will play two matches during the break, while Germany, Spain, Italy and Holland are also scheduled to play twice.

Capello said: “I don’t understand what this is all about. Most other countries are playing two games but we are only playing one match and returning the players on Sunday, four days earlier than the other countries.

“We did this out of respect to the players and their clubs at such a busy time in the fixture calendar.”

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