BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Friday, 14 December, 2001, 13:13 GMT
Club class but England exiles
Lee Bowyer could play for Leeds, but not his country
Bowyer starred for Leeds but was frozen out by England
Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate continued to play for Leeds after being charged in connection with the attack on Sarfraz Najeib in January 2000.

Between them, the pair featured in dozens of matches and played an important part in the club's success on both the domestic and European stages.

But despite being given the go-ahead to continue playing club football, the duo were stopped from furthering their international careers.

They both played in an England under-21 game against Argentina just a month after the attack on Mr Najeib.

But that was to be their last involvement with an England team.

The stark contrast between playing for club and country became clear from the outset.

David O'Leary
O'Leary: Innocent until proven guilty
After the players were charged, Leeds maintained their stance that Woodgate and Bowyer were innocent until proven guilty and would continue to be available for selection.

The players even had their bail conditions altered to enable them to play in away games.

The FA announced that the players would not be considered for the England team until their trial was over.

"Having given the matter serious and lengthy consideration, the FA feels it is in the interests of all concerned that the players are not considered for representative honours with England until these matters are resolved by the courts," said a statement.

The decision effectively meant that fledgling internationals Woodgate and Bowyer were not available for Euro 2000 nor the World Cup 2002 qualifying campaign.


It's only a matter of time before I play for the full team
Bowyer on his England chances

Caretaker England boss Peter Taylor briefly raised hopes of an international recall in October 2000.

"If I was allowed to pick them, I would pick them," he said.

"It is something I am investigating. I may not be able to change the situation but I want to find out more."

But the FA refused to alter its stance, prompting criticism from Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale.

Bowyer, a former England Under-21 captain, was philosophical.

"It's only a matter of time before I play for the full team," he said.

In purely football terms, the midfielder's optimism was well founded.

Jonathan Woodgate
Woodgate has one England cap to his name

He has been a regular in Leeds side, scoring important goals both in the Premiership and Champions League.

Woodgate was also being talked of as an England international for years to come.

He already has one senior cap to his name but spent most of last season sidelined by injury.

Had he been fit - and not under the mental stress that manager David O'Leary revealed had been affecting him - he would also surely have played an influential role for Leeds.

He would no doubt have also been one of the crop of youngsters Sven-Goran Eriksson turned to on his accession to the England hot-seat.

The debate will rage long and hard as to whether Leeds were right to stand by Bowyer and Woodgate in the run-up to the trial.

But FA bosses insist they were right not to pick them for international games.


Latest news

Reaction

Profiles

FEATURES

AUDIO VIDEO
Click here for all the latest from the My Club section

News and Statistics

Match coverage

Daily club news
Links to more Football stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Football stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales