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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 21:44 GMT 22:44 UK
Swedish coach sends Mellberg home
Sweden defender Olof Mellberg
Mellberg was replaced as Sweden's captain last month
Aston Villa defender Olof Mellberg has been sent home from the Sweden squad ahead of their Euro 2008 qualifer with Liechtenstein after breaking a curfew.

Mellberg and team-mates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Christian Wilhelmsson were all expelled.

The trio went out on Sunday evening and did not return to their hotel until early the next morning.

Sweden coach Lars Lagerback said: "This is the least enjoyable decision I have had to make in my coaching career."

A statement from the Swedish FA confirmed the players had broken the rules, saying: "On Sunday the players were given some free time during the afternoon and evening, agreeing to meet again at the hotel at 11pm.

"The majority of players returned in time but three players stayed out until around 1.15am.

"According to the team's management, the trio broke the agreed curfew and have therefore decided the three players will leave the national team in Gothenburg."

Sweden, who play Liechtenstein in Gothenburg on Wednesday, beat Latvia 1-0 on Saturday in their opening qualifying game.

Mellberg, who turned 29 on Monday, joined Villa for 5m from Spanish side Racing Santander in 2001.


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