Date: 1st September 2009 at 11:33am
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Birmingham City chairman David Gold says claims that Lee Bowyer deliberately fouled Croatia`s Luka Modric are well wide of the mark.

Modric suffered a fractured fibula after a challenge from Bowyer which has left the 23 year old out of the game for six weeks which means he also misses Croatia’s forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and England.

The president of the Croatian federation, Vlatko Markovic, has questioned whether Croatia`s stars are being deliberately got at in the Premier League.

Markovic said: ‘First Eduardo, now Luka Modric. This is horrible. I can only ask myself if it was really an accident.

‘I’m close to thinking it was done to us deliberately before the England match. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what happened to Luka. He is irreplaceable.’

But City chairman Gold said: ‘It’s quite unbelievable. I had to check it wasn’t 1st April, I thought it was a joke.

‘To suggest a conspiracy is nonsense. To suggest it was a deliberate act by English players to weaken the Croatia squad is absolutely ridiculous.

‘Maybe the problem is the statement by the Croatian official has completely been lost in translation?’.