Ahead of Uruguay’s final group game of the FIFA World Cup 2022, manager Diego Alonso has issued a response to Barcelona president Joan Laporta over the situation of defender Ronald Araujo.
The 23-year-old’s inclusion in the FIFA World Cup squad by La Celeste despite being injured and his subsequent return to training has led to friction between the Uruguayan Federation and Barça.
The Catalan giants fear that the South American giants are rushing Araujo’s recovery and could escalate the chances of a relapse if the timeline of his rehabilitation is rushed.
Meanwhile, president Joan Laporta speaking at a public event recently seemed to rule out Araujo’s involvement in Uruguay’s final group game against Ghana, which will be played tomorrow.
“Araujo will not play against Ghana. What we want is not to force the player to relapse. He’s training… I hope Araujo’s health will prevail,” he had said.
However, La Celeste boss Alonso has now hit out at the comments, stating that it will be who he decides when Araujo plays, based on the medical reports, and not the Barcelona president.
“The agreement we had is contrary to what the Barça president is saying, when the player is fit he will play. Whether Araujo plays will always depend on me in the first place and the agreement we made with Barça,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
“When the player is fit he will be available and if there is a disagreement it will be decided by a third party. That is the agreement. The player is still recovering and when he is fit he will play. We can’t set a date because it’s a medical issue,” Alonso added.
Uruguay have just one point from their two matches at the World Cup so far. And their chances of qualifying for the knockouts rest not only their game against Ghana but also South Korea’s contest against Portugal. As things stand, though, Araujo will not be playing.