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Arsenal to seek compensation from Dutch over Van Persie

Robin van Persie is injured in a challenge with Italy's Giorgio Chiellini
Van Persie was injured in a challenge with Italy's Giorgio Chiellini

Arsenal are seeking compensation from the Dutch Football Federation over the injury picked up by Robin van Persie while on international duty last month.

The striker, 26, suffered ankle ligament damage in a friendly against Italy on 14 November and is expected to be out until April at the earliest.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: "We are working on this with our lawyers and we are definitely going for it.

"I expect compensation for the damage it can make to the championship."

Wenger believes league clubs are often treated poorly by international federations and claims the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) misdiagnosed the injury in this case.

"Initially, the Dutch FA said it was a small problem and Robin called me to see if he could go and see this Serbian wonder doctor and it was okay," said the Frenchman.

"It was only when he came back here that we realised there was much more damage. In Holland they have a fight between the national doctor and the guy that did the surgery on Robin.


"We just want to go for it because there are a lot of things that have not been done properly after he was injured."

The KNVB defended its actions last month, stating on 29 November: "The medical staff of the KNVB contacted Arsenal club doctor Gary O'Driscoll the same Sunday to inform him about the outcome of the investigation and to transfer the medical record regarding this injury. The scan was also handed over to the medical staff of Arsenal."

Wenger wants to redress the balance of power that he feels currently favours the international team over the clubs.

"I am not against international teams," he continued. "But at the moment we sit here and they can do what they want.

"The players are paid by their clubs and get injured playing for another team.

"I am happy if England wins, but if we lose because England wins nobody cares about me.

"There is something completely wrong with the system. I want the power to be rebalanced more in favour of the clubs."

Under an agreement between world football's governing Fifa and it's European counterpart Uefa, clubs will be compensated if players are injured in World Cup or European Championship final matches, but there is nothing in place for qualifiers, friendlies, or other international matches.

England's Football Association takes out insurance to cover players - they paid out several millions of pounds to Newcastle after Michael Owen was injured at the 2006 World Cup.

Michael Owen picks up an injury at the 2006 World Cup
Newcastle striker Owen was injured against Sweden at the 2006 World Cup

West Ham are also reported to be seeking recompense from the FA following the retirement of Dean Ashton who suffered a career-ending ankle injury in an England training session in 2006, but the premiums are huge.

"In less rich countries, Fifa has to come in," Wenger added.

"If a player like Emmanuel Adebayor gets injured, you could not expect the Togo FA to pay the wages he is on at Manchester City. That is where it gets difficult. But Fifa and Uefa have the funds to compensate clubs even if the smaller countries cannot afford it."

A landmark compensation case involving Belgian club Charleroi and Fifa over the injury sustained by Abdelmajid Oulmers while he was playing for Morocco in a friendly against Burkino Faso in 2004, was dropped in 2008.

Wenger also wants friendlies in the middle of the season banning and matches during international breaks to be rescheduled from the traditional Saturdays and Wednesdays and Fridays and Tuesdays.

"When you go to Sunderland and your players have just come back on Thursday night or Friday morning, how can you prepare properly? It's impossible," he said.

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see also
Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal
13 Dec 09 |  Premier League
Injured Ashton forced to retire
11 Dec 09 |  West Ham
Van Persie faces five months out
28 Nov 09 |  Arsenal
Bendtner faces four-week lay-off
31 Oct 09 |  Arsenal
Van Persie signs new Arsenal deal
08 Jul 09 |  Arsenal

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