Monday 22 December 2014

AVB has confidence in Caulker

Published 01/11/2012 | 17:53

Steven Caulker, pictured, Tom Lees and coach Steve Wigley could face criminal charges

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is confident defender Steven Caulker is fully focused on football despite the threat of criminal charges from Serbia hanging over him.

The Spurs 20-year-old, Leeds centre-back Tom Lees and coach Steve Wigley have been named as the trio facing possible prosecution in the wake of England Under-21s' stormy qualifier in Krusevac last month, while the Football Association are still awaiting formal notice of the charges.

Villas-Boas has no doubts about Caulker, who has started the last four matches and is line to face Wigan on Saturday. "Regarding the player I think he will be ready to play," the Spurs boss said. "I think he obviously has a good chance because he has been doing quite well to make selection."

He added: "I am not worried yet with the consequences of what can happen. We are still finding out more information. At the moment we don't have enough information, nor do the FA, although there is contact between the FA, the government and the embassy in Serbia to try to find out more information about the speculation that is coming out."

FA and government officials are working hard to make the picture clearer - amid reports the cases have been handed over to British jurisdiction - but communication with Serbia is proving difficult.

Attempts to bring clarity to the issue have been difficult but Press Association Sport understands embassy officials in Belgrade are now working to ascertain whether local reports of criminal files being passed over are correct and, if so, how the process will work.

Having finally secured verbal confirmation of the three individuals involved on Thursday morning the FA had received no further update by the close of business.

"The FA continues to remain in close contact with the UK Government regarding the continued media reports of Serbian police charging England U21 players and staff," said a statement released. "There remains no formal communication of any charges to the FA or the government.

"However, we understand there has been a verbal communication of the names of the individuals concerned, which we now believe to be England players Steven Caulker and Tom Lees, and coach Steve Wigley.

"The FA would like to reaffirm its support for all of our players and staff and we have spoken with the players' clubs and those named to express this."

Press Association

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