Sunday October 02, 2022

Scaloni irked as visa trouble delays key defenders

September 24, 2022

MIAMI: Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni has voiced his displeasure at the late arrival of two key defenders for World Cup tune-ups in the United States after visa trouble linked to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Manchester United´s Lisandro Martinez and Cristian Romero of Tottenham Hotspur were due to join up with Scaloni´s squad ahead of the two games over the next week, against Honduras at Inter Miami´s DRV PNK Stadium on Friday and against Jamaica in New York on Tuesday.

But following the death of the queen, the US Embassy in London was closed, forcing both players to initially fly back to Argentina to secure a visa to come to the United States.

While Martinez has made it to Miami just in time to play against Honduras, Romero has yet to arrive with Scaloni unsure on Thursday evening if he will be available for the second match at Red Bull Arena, home of Major League Soccer´s New York Red Bulls.

It´s a regrettable situation for the Argentina coach, who only has these two games before naming his squad for the Qatar World Cup which starts in November.

"This bothers me," Scaloni told reporters. "This is an important week of training for us ahead of the World Cup and Cristian has been missing. His application has been delayed."

Scaloni has another defensive headache with Juan Foyth injured, and time is running out for Lionel Messi and his international team-mates to fine tune their preparations for Qatar where they will face Saudi Arabia,