Ecuador protest against Valencia's no-show

August 27, 2008

The Ecuadorian Football Federation are to protest to FIFA over Wigan midfielder Luis Antonio Valencia's absence from last week's international friendly against Colombia.

Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) president Luis Chiriboga Acosta has criticised both the Premier League club and Valencia for his failure to join up with the squad for the game, which was played in East Rutherford near New York.

Chiriboga told reporters at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito: 'We are sending a formal complaint to FIFA.

'Neither the club nor him have a justification for this absence. The only thing we can see is that Valencia does not want to represent the Ecuadorian national team.

'If he didn't join the team because he is scared of being excluded from the Wigan starting line-up, it's unacceptable.

'Valencia should have joined the national team without making excuses. He was the one who decided not to play against Colombia.'

Reports in Ecuador had said Valencia was suffering from a knee injury, but he started the league game against Chelsea on Sunday, which Wigan lost 1-0.

Ecuador coach Sixto Vizuete has already excluded him from the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Bolivia and Uruguay next month.

Valencia was already banned for the first game.

Vizuete had already expressed his disappointment over Valencia's absence, saying: 'Our friendly was played on a date FIFA set aside for these types of games and regulations must be followed.

'Ecuador have left the door of the national team open for when the real reason for his absence is clarified.''