Viduka's Aussie no-show
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The robust striker was due to board a plane to Caracas in preparation for the midweek friendly with Venezuela, but it now appears that Viduka has no intention of joining up with his international team-mates.
Leeds had previously requested that Viduka be withdrawn from the squad, but this request was declined by the Australian Football Association and this latest no-show has not amused the ASA.
''ASA policy is that it expects any player selected for international duty to make himself available and be released by his club,'' confirmed an ASA spokesman.
''ASA will utilise Fifa regulations if required to ensure this policy.''
This latest club versus country row is sure to escalate and is a further distraction for Leeds, as they try to concentrate their efforts on pulling away from the Premiership drop zone.
Viduka's absence is the latest setback for an Australian side already depleted by the absence of Liverpool's mercurial wide man Harry Kewell.
The former Leeds forward has informed SocceRoos coach Frank Farina that he will not be travelling due to reccurring problems with ankle ligaments, an injury that has troubled him for the previous three months.
Although Liverpool have given Kewell permission to travel, after consultation with club doctors, the player has decided that recuperation is the order of the day.
''I'm carrying a bit of a knock and it wouldn't do my career any good just for a friendly,'' Kewell told Channel Nine.
''I've got nothing to hide, Frank Farina's got no problem with it and I'm sure the Australian medical team have no problem with it, because they know what I've played with before.''
Whilst Kewell's absence may be excused, Viduka's no-show will have further repercussions for both the player and his club, Leeds United.