City midfielder dropped from Netherlands squad

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Manchester City midfielder Nigel De Jong has been dropped from the Holland squad as punishment for his tackle which broke Hatem Ben Arfa's leg.

De Jong went in hard on Newcastle's France winger during the Barclays Premier League clash at Eastlands, with tests later on Sunday revealing Ben Arfa had suffered a broken tibia and fibula to his left leg.

Holland coach Bert van Marwijk had already expressed his concern at the tackle earlier on Monday and a statement revealed the extent of his dismay. It read: "I just informed the squad and told them I saw no other possibility. In the near future I will discuss this matter with Nigel but right now we have to focus on the upcoming two matches."

Van Marwijk described De Jong's challenge as "wild and unnecessary" in an interview on Monday morning - even though match referee Martin Atkinson did not even award a foul at the time in a match City went on to win 2-1.

"I've seen the pictures back," Van Marwijk said in the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. "It was a wild and unnecessary offence. He went in much too hard.

"It is unfortunate, especially since he does not need to do it. The funny thing is that the referee did not even show a yellow card for it. Apparently, there are other standards.

"But I have a problem with the way Nigel needlessly looks to push the limit. I am going to speak to him."

It is not the first time the 25-year-old has come under the microscope for his aggressive play, having caused Bolton's United States midfielder Stuart Holden a fractured right fibula on international duty in March and then got away with a chest-high challenge on Spain's Xabi Alonso in the World Cup final.

De Jong was last week named in Van Marwijk's Oranje squad for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Moldova and Sweden.

The World Cup runners-up, who picked up six points from their opening two Group E qualifiers against San Marino and Finland last month, take on Moldova in Chisinau on October 8 and Sweden four days later at the Amsterdam ArenA.

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Manchester City
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