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REPORT: Barcelona deny any agreement with Uruguay over Araujo’s playing time

Ronald Araujo’s fitness has become a point of contention in this ongoing FIFA World Cup. The Barcelona defender was reluctantly allowed to travel to Doha as part of the Uruguay team even though he was nursing a fatal injury he had incurred earlier in the season.

Barça sent him with the understanding that Araujo was part of the team purely because of psychological reasons. As part of the agreement, two Barça physios would also travel with the team to keep a close eye on the defender’s recovery.

However, various reports now claim that Uruguay, after failing to win their opening game against South Korea, are planning to field Araujo in the game against Ghana at the start of next month. Uruguay have also subsequently claimed that they have a written document over Barcelona’s green light to field the defender during the World Cup.

According to Diario AS, Barcelona have denied any written documents and have urged the Uruguayan camp to show the said document.

The Barcelona board is increasingly concerned with Araujo’s fitness. They are aware of the fact that the centre-back’s knee problem will not be fixed in a couple of months and that the player requires more time to get back to full fitness.

The best-case scenario could see Araujo being available later on in the tournament, especially if Uruguay can reach the quarterfinals or beyond.

Barcelona, for their part, hope that the arrival of Xavi Hernandez to Doha could help them ‘calm the waters’. The Barça head coach is expected to talk to Araujo and his physios in an attempt to reach a common ground and most importantly, reduce the tension.

Uruguay, meanwhile, are currently having to settle for the central defensive duo of Diego Godin and Jose Maria Jimenez, both of who must perform at the top of their game when the South American giants take on Portugal in their next game.

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