Soccer-Quarantine regulations force Australia to play China on neutral turf

7/8/2021 5:00:00 AM

Soccer-Quarantine regulations force Australia to play China on neutral turf

Soccer-Quarantine regulations force Australia to play China on neutral turf

Australia will face China in the opening game of the final round of Asia's World Cup preliminaries in a neutral venue next month as pandemic travel restrictions impact on the Socceroos' hopes of qualifying for next year's finals in Qatar.Football Australia chief executive James Johnson confirmed Graham Ar

Australia will face China in the opening game of the final round of Asia's World Cup preliminaries in a neutral venue next month as pandemic travel restrictions impact on the Socceroos' hopes of qualifying for next year's finals in Qatar.Football Australia chief executive James Johnson confirmed Graham Arnold's team would cede home advantage for their opening Group B qualifying tie, which is set to be played on Sept. 2, due to the country's strict quarantine regulations.

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Football Australia chief executive James Johnson confirmed Graham Arnold's team would cede home advantage for their opening Group B qualifying tie, which is set to be played on Sept. 2, due to the country's strict quarantine regulations. "I honestly cannot believe what just happened for the last 40 days. "Our home game in September will be away, and that's a significant sporting disadvantage," Johnson told News Corp. On Saturday, the former Barcelona defender will find himself 90 minutes away from becoming captain of a gold medal winning team when his side face Spain in the final in Yokohama. "If you look at home records versus away records at this level, home records count for a hell of a lot – it's an extra player on the pitch. "It's such a special group, we fought through the whole tournament, we fought tonight, and managed to find a way to win. "That's our big challenge at the moment..

" The Socceroos had been due to host the game against Li Tie's team but, with arrivals into the country strictly regulated and all arrivals subject to two weeks quarantine, football officials were unable to gain exemptions from the Australian government. "Honestly, that's something I felt in the past, but not with this group. The World Cup has evaded him and while he has enjoyed two triumphs in the Copa America, he clearly sees the Olympics as a way to complete his career with an international success for his country. As a result, the Australians are looking to host the game elsewhere in Asia, with Dubai and Doha among the potential venues. A decision is due next week. "In every game that's different, I don't have to play out of my skin for us to win. In addition to the Chinese, Australia have been drawn to face Japan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Oman, with the top two teams from the group gaining automatic qualification for the World Cup." It is an admirable approach and one which reflects Brazil's respect for the Olympic football tournament - which they finally won five years ago on home turf in Rio. The Socceroos' game on Sept." Sinclair, who has made 305 international appearances, did not rule out winning more medals. Guardiola said City needed new players to stay fresh after so much success.

7 against Vietnam will go ahead as planned in Hanoi while Johnson hopes matches slated to be played against Oman and Saudi Arabia in October and November can still be hosted in Australia. "I'm confident that we will be playing at home by the end of the year if we can get things under control, particularly in Sydney," Johnson said. I've never done that in my career," she said, her gold medal glittering around her neck. Spain represent tough opposition, however. "We're talking to governments trying to get similar exemptions to other countries around the world so that our sporting teams can play at home, and of course that would be under strict bubbles. "The players wouldn't have any interaction with the community. The transmission of COVID would be zero. Spain fought past Japan in the semi-final thanks to a goal late in extra-time from Real Madrid's Marco Asensio. Not much, a few players that can rise to the level of the players that are already here," he said.

" (Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore) Source: Reuters .