PFA - Begovic did not strike
PFA says keeper would have played in Carling Cup
Last Updated: August 25, 2010 4:51pm
Begovic: Did not refuse to play
The PFA insists Asmir Begovic would have turned out for Stoke in the Carling Cup on Tuesday amid a furore over his absence.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has accused the keeper, a target of Chelsea, of being 'disrespectful' after claiming he refused to play against Shrewsbury.
But the PFA's deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes - who earlier warned that players should not go on strike - insists this is not the case with Begovic after speaking with him.
Instead, the keeper contacted Barnes to insist that had he been asked to play he would have done so.
Barnes told Sky Sports News: "The PFA would not condone a player refusing to play for his club.
"But Asmir was at great pains to make it clear to me and the wider public that at no stage had he actually said that he refused to play for the club.
"I think it's common knowledge now that there has been a bid received.
"From Asmir's point of view he says that he had a conversation with the manager in which he was asked whether he was 100% fit and ready to play.
"Asmir's take is that he had indicated that his mind was a little bit scrambled by things and that probably if there was an alternative it would be best if he didn't play.
"But he is at great pains to say at no stage did he say that he wouldn't play, and had he been asked to play he would have done so."
Barnes added: "Managers will ask players - whether it be to do with an injury or a personal issue - is it something that you think you can clear your mind of and be able to play 100%? A player would give an honest answer to that.
"In this particular case - and I haven't spoken to Tony, who might have an alternative view - Asmir was adamant that he would have played if he was asked to play.
"But the question was 'are you 100% able mentally to play?'
"The answer has been a negative one and on that basis the manager has made a decision."