The Socceroos will likely play the World Cup qualifiers in Australia with a large crowd in the next few months, but according to Football Australia boss James Johnson there will likely be a catch.
Australia was forced to leave the home Play last week’s qualifier against China in a neutral location in Qatar as strict COVID-19 regulations and protocols apply in their own country.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Vietnam, FA chief Johnson announced that Green and Gold are confident of playing games in Australia during the two upcoming FIFA internationals in October and November.
However, all games are likely to be played in Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium in front of vaccinated crowds, with the NSW government likely the regulations will loosen up faster than other states, says Johnson.
“There’s a policy that gets people back into stadiums (possibly with Imp substance certification or negative COVID tests), “Johnson told FTBL.
“NSW and the federal government have gotten to a point where they just open up, enforce, and vaccinate about 70 percent of the population. Then it softens.
“I am confident at this point that we will hopefully see spectators at at least one of these games in October and November.
This is how we think the Socceroos will face Vietnam at 10:00 p.m. (AEST) tonight
Would you make any changes? 🤔 # VIEvAUS #AsianQualifiers pic.twitter.com/57xaQbW2yc
“I don’t necessarily see the other states, especially Queensland and Western Australia, as necessarily following the same [opening] strategy at this point.”
“Suddenly, playing competitions on a national level is becoming more of a challenge than international football as states approach COVID differently.
” I am now more confident about playing national team football in Australia than A-League, W-League and FFA Cup.
“There are many questions about how different countries are fighting COVID and that will really affect the sport.”
Australia will have four World Cup qualifiers in the coming international windows in October and November.
The Green-Golden meet Oman (home) and Japan (away) in October, before they play against Saudi Arabia (home) and China (away) in November.