Slovenia’s preparations for their World Cup qualifier with England have been overshadowed after Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kevin Kampl pulled out of the squad.
Kampl claims to be too “exhausted” to make himself available and missed Srecko Katanec’s side’s 1-0 victory over Slovakia on Saturday.
The Slovenia players have reacted badly to Kampl’s decision and released a joint statement over the incident.
“For the national team you play with pride and passion. Kevin is an important part of a team that needs him. So we have to say he deserted us. The national team has to be above all of us. We are united in this message to Kampl,” the statement read.
However, Kampl has said he will be available for their next squad and just needs to get to the bottom of why he is feeling so “exhuasted”.
“I would like to make some things clear,” said Kampl. “Firstly, I always play with pride and happiness for Slovenia and I intend to do so in the future.
“Secondly, I have made it clear I will be available next time, I just need some rest now. Thirdly, I swear that at the moment I am not in the right condition to help Slovenia.
“Yes, I have trained in Leverkusen but only on my own and I am having some blood tests because I don’t feel good: I am exhausted. I wouldn’t have been able to help Slovenia like this and I stand by my decision.”