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Coleman absence takes eye off Bale
Published : 06 Sep 2013 09:31:53Rss feed
Chris Coleman managed to take the spotlight off Gareth Bale by losing his passport and missing Wales' final preparations for tonight's World Cup qualifier in Macedonia.
Coleman was not present for Wales' pre-match press conference, nor their final training session at the Philip II Arena after he had to rush to Newport on Thursday morning in order to obtain a new passport, having realised he had lost the existing document on Wednesday night.
That meant the 43-year-old could not travel with the rest of the Wales team from Cardiff Airport, and instead made the journey to Skopje from Heathrow via Vienna.
The farcical events represent an embarrassing episode for Coleman and the Football Association of Wales, with the former Fulham boss, who is close to agreeing a contract extension, nowhere to be seen as his team went through their final pre-match preparations.
Coleman was once famously late for a press conference when in charge of Spanish side Real Sociedad. He claimed a faulty washing machine had flooded his flat, but later admitted he had been out late "somewhere I shouldn't have been".
The FAW attempted to play down the incident as assistant manager Kit Symons stepped in to face the media and take training in Skopje.
But Symons insisted it would have no effect on Wales' performance in their Group A encounter.
Symons said: "There were a couple of passport issues which needed to be resolved and they have been and he will be landing imminently.
"It was a minor issue which has been dealt with. It is sorted so there are no dramas.
"He will not make training but all the tactical stuff has been done during the week and it's just about the boys stretching their legs, so it will not be a disruption.
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