Wes Morgan out of Copa America 2016 Match vs. Venezuela After ‘Partying’
Jamaica centre-back Wes Morgan will miss the start of his nation’s 2016 Copa America campaign after “partying” took its toll on the Leicester City captain, according to coach Winfried Schafer.
The defender is lacking in match fitness after he helped guide Leicester to the Premier League crown last season, and Schafer told Jamaican newspaper the Sunday Gleaner his star is “tired” after revelling in that success (h/t Guardian).
He said: “Morgan has come, but he is tired; that is clear. All week, he has not trained. He partied in London and Thailand, but I am very happy he is here and maybe he can help in the second match, but not the first match because it is too difficult.”
The setback means Chelsea’s Michael Hector or Portland Timbers defender Jermaine Taylor could be drafted in at centre-back until Morgan has recovered to make his return to the lineup.
Jamaica won’t consider Morgan’s absence damning to their hopes considering it was just last month they recorded a surprise 2-1 win over an out-of-form Chile side without Morgan’s help.
Having said that, eyebrows are bound to be raised following Morgan’s reason for missing the Venezuela fixture, as emphasised by Yahoo’s Kristan Heneage:
Football writer Mark O’Haire joined those heralding the news as something not often seen at the elite level.
On one hand, some will argue Morgan’s commitment at club level of late—he played every minute of the Premier League title charge in 2015-16—means his absence is somewhat acceptable.
On the other, a centenary Copa America is a historic occasion in itself, and others may fall under the belief Morgan could have cut short his club celebrations in order to chase further silverware with his international team-mates.
One thing for certain is Coach Schafer appears only too calm about the whole affair, and he may well gain a few fans of his own as one of the most laid-back managers in this year’s Copa America.
Venezuela will be glad 32-year-old Morgan isn’t featuring against them while simultaneously hoping they give the Jamaican stalwart no more reason to party this summer.