ON Friday October 2 Spain coach Vicente del Bosque announced that Chelsea striker Diego Costa is out of the squad for the holders’ final two European Qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine this month.
Costa is suspended for the match against Luxembourg in Logrono in a week’s time but would have been available for the game in Kiev three days later.
He has been replaced in the 23-man squad by Juventus striker Alvaro Morata.
Del Bosque said the decision to leave Brazil-born Costa out was taken after he was booked in Spain’s 1-0 win away to Macedonia last month and was not a result of the player’s disciplinary record in the Premier League.
Costa was banned for three domestic matches by the FA last month after being found guilty of violent conduct in a match against Arsenal.
“I did not like what happened in the Premier League,” Del Bosque said in Madrid on Friday.
Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano and Real Sociedad centre-back Inigo Martinez were also included, with Bayern full-back Juan Bernat and Sevilla midfielder Vitolo also dropped.
Spain can make sure of their place at the tournament in France next year with a win against Luxembourg, who are second-from-bottom in the section.
Del Bosque’s side have 21 points from eight matches, two ahead of Slovakia, who host Belarus on Friday. Ukraine are third on 16 points ahead of their match away to bottom side Macedonia.