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 May 13, 2002 | 1503 IST

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England's Dyer threatens legal action over tackle

Newcastle United's Kieron Dyer is considering taking legal action against Tahar El-Khalej after a tackle by Southampton's Moroccan defender almost certainly ruled the England midfielder out of the forthcoming World Cup.

"We have considered legal action, certainly against the player, and possibly his club," Dyer's agent Jonathan Barnett was quoted as saying in the Daily Express newspaper on Monday.

"We would like to take some action, but we shall have to be advised by the lawyers on how to quantify the damage.

"There is no doubt a player of Kieron's standing would lose out on sponsorship, endorsements that might not be realised for another four years. A successful World Cup might have inspired a big bid from a top foreign club."

El-Khalej, however, apologised for the reckless challenge that caused Dyer to damage his knee during Southampton's 3-1 premier league win over Newcastle on Saturday.

"I am so sorry," El-Khalej was quoted as saying in the Daily Express. "I never meant to hurt him. I went for the ball but it was a bad tackle and I was late."

England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson named Dyer in his 23-man World Cup squad last week.

England have been drawn in group F for the World Cup finals in South Korea and Japan which start at the end of May, alongside Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria.

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