Newcastle United star sent home from World Cup after manager confirms illness

Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar and Switzerland were sent home from the World Cup following a 6-1 last-16 defeat to Portugal in Qatar.

A hat-trick from Newcastle summer target Goncalo Ramos plus goals from Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao saw Portugal cruise to a comprehensive knockout win with Manuel Akanji grabbing a consolation for Switzerland in the second half. Schar – who has helped form the Premier League’s best defence this season at Newcastle – was withdrawn at half-time due to shortness of breath with the score at 2-0.

Swiss manager Murat Yakin claimed Schar and two other members of his squad had been hit by illness in the build-up to the match. Silvan Widmer, Nico Elvedi and Schar were the three players impacted though only the United defender featured.

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Following the defeat, Yakin said: “Unfortunately, Widmer had a cold. Same for Schar. He was out of breath at half-time.

Portugal's defender #03 Pepe celebrates next to Switzerland's defender #22 Fabian Schaer after scoring his team's second goal with a header past Switzerland's goalkeeper #01 Yann Sommer during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between Portugal and Switzerland at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 6, 2022. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

"Elvedi also had a fever. He was not fully ready. Schar wasn’t himself either.”

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He added: “We must accept this defeat and congratulate Portugal. They were the best team this evening. They surprised us.

“We lost a game today but that doesn’t mean we have to be too pessimistic and criticise everything. The team has shown great team spirit.

“But this defeat hurts. The score and the manner of the loss sadden me.”

It was Schar’s third World Cup and third time being knocked out at the last-16 stage. The 30-year-old defender will now have a short break before returning to Newcastle in time for competitive action to resume later this month.