Viduka reveals feud with Kewell

 

A feud has become public between Australia's two high-profile football stars, Leeds forwards Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka.

Viduka has revealed he and Kewell barely speak, despite playing in the same English Premier League team for the past two years.

And Viduka accused Kewell's manager Bernie Mandic of trying to influence Australian national coach Frank Farina to make Kewell Australian captain, replacing Paul Okon, who has been unable to break into the Leeds first team.

His claim comes as Farina ponders his Australian team - and captain - for the international friendly with England at Upton Park on February 12th.

Viduka questioned why Farina had recently stressed players would need to be first team regulars for their clubs to be picked.

"Paul [Okon] wasn't playing regularly before the World Cup qualifiers but Frank didn't worry about it then," Viduka told Sydney's Sun-Herald newspaper.

"Frank has to be his own man. If he is going to listen to Mandic then forget it. If it's going to be like that I don't even want to play for Australia."

Kewell denies he has a problem with Viduka.

"I have never had a problem with Mark and have no idea what he's trying to achieve with his comments," said Kewell.

"I'm sure his comments will disappoint fans of Leeds and Australia alike. I've always believed that a player's boots should do the talking. Nothing has changed."

Mandic was also Viduka's manager until they fell out over the handling of the striker's transfer from Dinamo Zagreb to Glasgow Celtic in 1999.

The rift between Viduka and Kewell is the latest problem to hit Australian soccer after four key board members resigned from governing body Soccer Australia last week amid claims it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

AFP