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Forlan claims ignorance over Champions exclusion
Published : 06 Sep 2011 19:30:12Rss feed
New Inter Milan striker Diego Forlan claims he didn't know the UEFA regulation that has ruled him out of his team's Champions League group stages.
Forlan played for his previous club Atletico Madrid in the Europa League third qualifying round against Norwegians Stromsgodset earlier this season.
UEFA rules state that he cannot represent another club in Europe until the New Year at least.
He was left out of Atletico's play-off tie with Portugal's Viktoria Guimaraes as he was in discussions with Inter but by then it was too late.
And Forlan told Spanish radio station Onda Cera that he simply didn't know the rules.
"The truth is I didn't know UEFA's rules and so I was going on what I'd been told, which was that it was enough to not play against Viktoria Guimaraes," Forlan said, according to Italian press.
"That was while knowing that Atletico Madrid wanted to sell me.
"I was told about the possibility of going to Inter Milan during the days while we were preparing to face Viktoria Guimaraes and with the coach we discussed the possibility of not playing so that I'd be available for the Champions League.
"If everyone was saying that I was going to leave Atletico, it was better for me to be available to play in the Champions League without complicating things.
"I didn't know until Friday night that it wasn't possible to put me on the list."
Inter signed Forlan as a replacement for Samuel Eto'o, whom they allowed to join Russians Anzhi Makhachkala.
Having included Forlan in the list they submitted to UEFA, they left off 18-year-old Dutchman Luc Castaignos, who is still ineligible as he was left off the original list.
It means Inter are left with just Diego Milito, Giampaolo Pazzini and Mauro Zarate as attacking options in a tough Champions League group.
Inter were drawn in Group B alongside CSKA Moscow, Lille and Trabzonspor.