Chile lose Fernandez for World Cup

AFP| Last Updated: May 21, 2014, 11:06 AM IST

Santiago: Fiorentina midfielder Matias Fernandez withdrew from Chile`s World Cup squad on Tuesday with an ankle injury that is more serious than he initially suspected.

Fernandez, 28, was retained in coach Jorge Sampaoli`s 27-man squad, reduced from 30 at the weekend.

He had only just arrived in the Chilean capital Santiago when he discovered that a partial rupture of ankle ligaments, which had been bothering him for several weeks, would require an operation.

"It is very sad but it would be irresponsible of me to go to the World Cup," Fernandez, formerly of Villarreal and Sporting Lisbon and who played for Chile at the 2010 World Cup, told a press conference.

"I never thought it was so serious."

Sampaoli must reduce his squad to a final 23-man list by June 2 and also has concerns over Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, who arrived in Santiago while still recovering from a knee operation.

Chile kick off their World Cup campaign in Group B against Australia on June 13 in Cuiaba before facing Spain in Rio de Janeiro and the Netherlands in Sao Paulo.