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Serbia will not call up replacement for Petkovic

Written by: Staff

BILLERBECK, Germany, June 7 (Reuters) Serbia&Montenegro will conduct their World Cup campaign with only 22 players following a meeting with FIFA today to discuss whether they could call up a replacement for centre back Dusan Petkovic.

The son of Serbia and Montenegro coach Ilija Petkovic was pulled out of the squad yesterday after a row over nepotism. Local media had criticised Dusan's selection as favouritism. ''After a meeting with a FIFA official it has been decided that the coach Ilija Petkovic will not call up a replacement for his son Dusan,'' team spokesman Aleksandar Boskovic told reporters.

''FIFA rules clearly state that last minute replacements are possible only if a player is injured and we have made it very clear from the start that this is not the case.

''We will be the only side to start the World Cup with 22 instead of 23 players but we have accepted it and it's time to move on. I think the conclusion of this case has taken the pressure off the coach and the entire team.'' REUTERS DH PM1834

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