Australian goalkeeper leaves World Cup camp due to family tragedy

15:38, June 07, 2010      

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Coach of Australia national football (soccer) team, Pim Verbeek on Monday told Australia's media that he was unsure whether reserve goalkeeper Brad Jones will take part in the World Cup after returning home because of a serious illness in his family.

English-based goalkeeper Jones departed South Africa late on Saturday because of his four-year-old son Luca had leukemia, and his immediate participation in the tournament remains unclear.

"We have decided he needs to be with them, as long as he needs to be there," Verbeek told The Australian news.

"It is a very serious matter and we wish him strength and luck and everything that is necessary for him to be with his family and support his family.

"We want to leave him alone now and with his family."

Verbeek admitted it was unlikely Jones would return to take part in the tournament.

But it would be left up to the 28-year-old, who plays for Middlesbrough in England, to make a final decision before the tournament officially kicks off on Friday.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has applied to the sport's world governing body FIFA to be able to replace Jones in the squad if necessary under special circumstances provisions.

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