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Kaka’s commitment to Brazil under question

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Kaka’s withdrawal from Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers later this month has raised more doubts over his commitment to playing for his country.

The AC Milan player missed last year’s Copa America at his own request, saying he needed a rest. He hasn’t played for Brazil yet this year and will now sit out this month’s World Cup qualifiers away to Paraguay and at home to Argentina after knee surgery.

Kaka underwent an arthroscopy operation on his left knee on May 23 and initially said he hoped to be ready for the games, two of the most difficult and important in Brazil’s qualifying campaign for 2010.

But on Wednesday, Brazil coach Dunga withdrew him from the squad after being told by Milan that Kaka could only start training on June 10, five days before the match in Asuncion against group leaders Paraguay.

So Flamengo, what was all the altitude fuss about?

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For the last year, Brazilian club Flamengo have led an almost obsessive campaign for a ban on matches at high altitude. Following a match away to Bolivian side Real Potosi at 4,000 metres above sea level in the Libertadores Cup, club president Marcio Braga has gone on the warpath describing high altitude games as “inhumane” and comparing them to a form of doping for the home team.

Braga has taken his case to FIFA, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and even the United Nations human rights commission — all without success. Although FIFA has effectively banned World Cup qualifiers above 2,750 metres, the South American Football Confederation has refused to follow suit for the Libertadores.

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