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FRANCE: FAUSTINO ASPRILLA SENT HOME FROM COLOMBIA'S WORLD CUP SQUAD AFTER PUBLICLY CRITICISING TEAM'S TACTICS.


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Colombia have sent home Faustino Asprilla after he publicly criticised the team's World Cup tactics.
Faustino Asprilla was kicked out of Colombia's World Cup squad on Wednesday (June 17) for criticising team tactics.
Coach Hernan Dario Gomez said the moody striker's public outburst against his substitution in the 1-0 defeat by Romania on Monday had been punished by his exclusion from the squad.
"The dialogue he had with his (journalist) friend is not normal so you have to do something, apply the regulations," Gomez said as he watched his 21 other players training at Colombia's retreat east of Lyon.
"Regulations don't allow for such criticism.These situations just occur and people leave." Asprilla, enjoying Colombia's day off in Paris on Tuesday, told a radio reporter he was unhappy with Gomez's decision to substitute him near the end of the group G match in Lyon and bring on 21-year-old newcomer Leider Preciado.
The Parma striker said he thought other players who had become "untouchables" had played worse, a jibe aimed at veteran player Carlos Valderrama.
Asked whether Colombia would be weakened by the loss of Asprilla, Valderrama replied: "No, now it gets fortified.
"When we're all here we're all necessary.But when we're not here, then we're none of us essential," the shaggy-haired midfielder said.
Asprilla was believed to be holed up in Colombia's hotel outside La-Tour-du-Pin.Gomez said Asprilla had reacted calmly to the news and the Colombian federation would issue a statement later on Wednesday saying exactly why Asprilla was axed.
"It hurt me that this should happen.I don't kick people out, it goes against my will, it's not good for anyone," Gomez said."He's a good lad, a good player.
"(But) if the regulations are not complied with, people are on their way out on their own.I'm here to ensure Colombia do not do badly," he said.
Valderrama has over the years become an symbol of Colombian football and Gomez said before Monday's match Colombia could not change their game, implying Valderrama was a key element.
But South America's footballer of the year as long ago as 1987 was anonymous and slow on Monday and only rarely got lone striker Asprilla involved.
Colombia's short-passing possession game once surprised the best sides in the world.It reached a peak with the shock 5-0 defeat of Argentina in Buenos Aires in 1993 during the qualifiers for the 1994 finals.
But rather than become the launch-pad for a great Colombia side, it came to spell the start of their decline.
They went to the United States in 1994 believing they would win the World Cup and crashed out in the first round after losing to Romania and the American hosts.
Gomez said he had not yet decided who would take Asprilla's place against Tunisia in Colombia's second match on Monday.
But Preciado, top scorer in the Colombian first division with Bogota club Independiente Santa Fe, looks set to start.
Gomez must also decide whether to stick with his five-man midfield of the first half against Romania with Sao Paulo forward Victor Hugo Aristizabal in a withdrawn role.
Colombia began the tournament in France looking to make up for their 1994 disaster which ended with defender Andres Escobar, who scored an own goal against hosts the United States, being murdered in a bar in Colombia.
Gomez and striker Victor Hugo Aristizabal received anonymous death threats in Colombia over the coach's selection policy before leaving for France.


Reference 5642/98
Tape 4834
Issue
Can
Source RCN COLOMBIA
Restrictions Restrictions on certain uses may apply, and may vary from those listed.
NO ACCESS COLOMBIA
Time code 16.31.06 - 16.34.07
Date original JUNE 16/17 1998
Duration 2.53
Technical
Subset Reuters Television
Location LA TOUR DU PIN, FRANCE
Sound NATURAL WITH SPANISH SPEECH
Colourbw COLOUR

LA TOUR DU PIN, FRANCE (JUNE 16 AND 17, 1998/ RECENT) (RCN COLOMBIA - NO ACCESS COLOMBIA)
(JUNE 16)
1. DISMISSED COLOMBIAN SOCCER PLAYER FAUSTINO ASPRILLA IN VEHICLE
(JUNE 17)
2. COLOMBIAN PLAYERS TRAINING
3. COLOMBIAN COACH HERNAN DARIO GOMEZ SPEAKING (SPANISH)
4. ENTRANCE AND SIGN TO COLOMBIAN CAMP
5. GOMEZ SPEAKING (SPANISH)
(RECENT)
6. COLOMBIAN TEAM TRAINING
(JUNE 17)
7. COLOMBIAN PLAYER CARLOS VALDERRAMA SPEAKING (SPANISH)
(RECENT)
8. GOMEZ AND COLOMBIAN PLAYERS ON PITCH

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