Belgium player Dries Mertens insists there was "no malice" in the challenge which has ended England defender Gary Cahill's hopes of playing in Euro 2012.

Mertens pushed Cahill in the back during the first half of Saturday's friendly at Wembley and caused a collision between the Chelsea man and goalkeeper Joe Hart. The incident resulted in Cahill suffering a double fracture of the jaw and he now joins John Ruddy, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry in being ruled out of the original squad.

PSV Eindhoven player Mertens, who was yellow-carded for the challenge, said: "It was an accident. It was unintentional. He (Cahill) blocked me off and he hit his head (on Hart's shoulder). But there was no malice in what I did."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2012, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Joe Hart
Football
Gareth Barry
Chelsea
Premier League
Gary Cahill
John Ruddy