Sneijder out, Babel in for Dutch World Cup qualifiers
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) Caps record-holder Wesley Sneijder has been dropped by the Netherlands and winger Ryan Babel recalled for the first time in six years for two crucial World Cup qualifiers.
The Netherlands is third in Europe Group A, four points behind leader France and three points behind second-placed Sweden.
It plays Belarus at Borisov Arena on Oct. 7, and hosts Sweden three days later in Amsterdam.
Coach Dick Advocaat said on Friday he did not select Sneijder, who played 132 matches for the national team, because the midfielder cannot break into the first team at his French club Nice.
Babel made the team for the first time since 2011 after strong performances for Turkish club Besiktas and the absence through injury of Quincy Promes.
Group winners qualify automatically for next year’s World Cup in Russia. The top eight second-place teams advance to European playoffs.