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Wenger considers Walcott damages

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Wenger is resigned to being without Walcott for three months

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger does not blame the Football Association for Theo Walcott's injury, but has not ruled out pursuing compensation over his absence.

Walcott is out for three months after dislocating his shoulder this week on England duty and Wenger said: "It was a training accident. I accept that."

But when asked whether compensation was right in the event of serious injury, he added: "Of course, I think so."

Arsenal could claim 1.1m under the Football Association insurance policy.

However, it is not yet certain whether the Gunners will be pursuing compensation from the FA over Walcott specifically, with Wenger adding on Arsenal TV: "I believe at the moment the whole issue is being studied by Fifa - it can only be decided by an international body like them.

"Sometimes the potential claim could be too much for a national body to take so it would have to be solved by Fifa."

Walcott was injured when he slipped on the rain-soaked pitch in Berlin during a training session on Tuesday ahead of England's friendly win over Germany.

As well as losing Walcott, Wenger will also be without Kolo Toure for Saturday's game with Manchester City after the defender reported for international duty with the Ivory Coast and aggravated an injury he picked up against Aston Villa last week.

How can I stop meaningless friendlies? I can talk but I cannot do a lot about it. My opinion will not change the fixtures and I am conscious of that

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

"The sad thing is that this was a friendly game in mid-November before many important club fixtures," Wenger added.

"So many players have pulled out because this international break is very badly positioned. It would be very interesting for Fifa and Uefa to make a study of the players who did not play in any national team but who will play on Saturday or in the Champions League next week.

"It is bad timing because it doesn't prepare teams for official games because there are no games before March, and also because it just in front of some very important club games.

"But how can I stop meaningless friendlies? I can talk but I cannot do a lot about it. My opinion will not change the fixtures and I am conscious of that."

Arsenal could be eligible for compensation from the FA because Walcott sustained the injury while on international duty.

The FA insures all players on international duty and up to 100,000 per week can be paid out to clubs by the organisation's insurers.

Newcastle United received about 6m from the FA, Fifa and their insurer when Michael Owen suffered knee ligament damage while playing for England at the 2006 World Cup finals.

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An FA spokesman said: "The FA is one of only a handful of national associations who voluntarily insure our players against injury while on international duty. Almost all foreign international players who play for English clubs will not have been insured in this way.

"The policy pays up to 50,000 per week for the first two weeks out of action through injury and up to a ceiling of 100,000 per week after that, to a maximum of 100 weeks. This compensation is paid by the FA's various insurers, not the FA itself.

"Our policy also provides up to 50,000 of medical expenses and provides compensation for permanent total disability in the case of career-ending injury incurred while with England."

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see also
Walcott ruled out after surgery
20 Nov 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger wants friendlies scrapped
23 Sep 05 |  Internationals
Premiership backs Newcastle claim
20 Apr 07 |  Newcastle


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