Football

Fulham cleared in weak team probe

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The Premier League have cleared Fulham of any wrongdoing after West Ham complained about the team they fielded against Hull on March 27.

The Hammers lodged an official complaint after Cottagers manager Roy Hodgson rested five key players for the 2-0 defeat at the KC Stadium, which allowed the Tigers to pull level with Gianfranco Zola's relegation-threatened side on 27 points.

However, a Premier League spokesman said today in a statement: "The Premier League board has obtained the observations of Fulham FC in regard to the complaint made by West Ham United about the team fielded by Fulham in their League fixture against Hull City on the 27th of March. The board is of the view that no breach of rules has occurred in this case."

Bobby Zamora, Danny Murphy, Damien Duff, Aaron Hughes and Dickson Etuhu all missed the Hull game but returned for the 2-1 win over Wolfsburg five days later, which prompted the West Ham hierarchy to claim that Hodgson broke Premier League rules.

Hodgson said earlier this week he would be "absolutely amazed" if the Premier League took action against the club in light of his team selection for the 2-1 defeat at Everton last weekend.

The Fulham boss made nine changes to his line-up, with eight players rested and one enforced through injury, as he instead focused on arguably the most important game in the club's history - last night's Europa League semi-final second leg against Hamburg.

"After the performance we gave, against a very strong Everton team, I would be absolutely amazed if people have the temerity to discuss our team selection," said Hodgson.

"We're going into very dangerous ground when the Premier League decides whether teams are strong or not.

"Hull made six changes to their team (against Sunderland) because they chose to change six players. So I should also be entitled to change players when I want to, especially given the situation we find ourselves in.

"I am not at all convinced that if the same 11 players who were in Hamburg (in the first leg) had played against Everton we would have given as good an account of ourselves as we did."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Europa League
Sunderland
Aaron Hughes
Fulham
Bobby Zamora
Football
Premier League
Everton
Dickson Etuhu
Gianfranco Zola
Damien Duff
West Ham United
Hull City
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