Socceroos-China World Cup qualifier at Qatar


Australian soccer team forced to play in Qatar Image: Supreme Committee Qatar

World Cup host Qatar will stage the Australia national football team – Socceroos – qualifier against China next month.

‘The Australian’ stated that Football Australia officials are in advanced talks with their Qatari counterparts, with confirmation expected this week that Qatar’s capital City Doha will be the venue for the Socceroos’ 2022 World Cup qualifier against China on September 2nd.

The Australia national soccer team represents Australia in international men’s soccer. Officially nicknamed the ‘Socceroos’, the team is controlled by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Australia, which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup™ is scheduled to be the 22nd running of the FIFA World Cup™ competition, the quadrennial international men’s football championship contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21st to December 18th, 2022. This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world and this will be the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.

‘The Australian’ further stated that the match is a “home” game for the Socceroos, who have been forced to take the game abroad after Football Australia (FA) could not get the necessary player quarantine and travel bubble exemptions from Governments to allow the qualifier to take place at Sydney’s 30,000-capacity Bankwest Stadium, as had been scheduled.

A lockdown in the Australian City of Sydney has been extended until the end of September to slow the spread of a COVID outbreak. Authorities also imposed a curfew on two million residents in the City’s worst-hit suburbs. Residents of Sydney have been under stay-at-home orders since late June as Australia battles Delta outbreak.

Australia’s September 7th qualifier against Vietnam is set to go ahead, as scheduled, in Hanoi.

Football Australia officials are still hopeful of being able to play home qualifiers in October and November in Australia.

Bankwest Stadium is scheduled to host the Socceroos’ matches against Oman (October 7th) and Saudi Arabia (November 11th).

A Football Australia spokesman said, “It will be our strong preference to host these matches in Australia. We will continue to work with the Federal and State Governments about the opportunity to host matches in Australia for both the Socceroos and Matildas in the coming months. We will also be led by the Federal Government and State Governments on hosting matches in Australia, and we strongly support Government advice that mass vaccinations are our pathway out of COVID-19.”

Coach Graham Arnold, Australian association football Manager, currently in Dubai, stated, “I can’t wait to get them back together in the camp. Nothing worries me one bit about playing away from home. We’ve got a good number of very good players and I’m very positive about what lies ahead. I’ll be going into those two games very positive. I expect six points from the first two games, and then we’re on our journey, on our way.”

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