Socceroos not focused on security fears

Socceroos stars Massimo Luongo and Trent Sainsbury have put security concerns behind them ahead of their World Cup qualifying game against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

A decision was made for the Australian team to travel to the troubled region despite Cricket Australia cancelling a tour to Bangladesh in October due to security fears.

Speaking after the Socceroos 3-0 win against Kyrgyzstan on Thursday, Sainsbury said despite the heightened security fears the players were thinking only about the football.

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“It’s not a concern for us,” Sainsbury said.  “We know that we can deal with Bangladesh now, but during the week we just had to focus on the game. “

An FFA security delegation had been liaising with DFAT, FIFA, AFC, the Bangladesh Government and Bangladesh security services in Dhaka to establish the security plans and operations.

Sainsbury said that it was the work behind the scenes that enabled the Socceroos players to concentrate on their task of being footballers.

He added: “We’ll go back to the hotel and we’ll get the information from the FFA and the security team that went across and we’ll deal from it there. We are focused mainly on the game and going across and doing our job and being professionals.”

Socceroos must travel to Bangladesh

Likewise, Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo said their  main priority as players was focusing on what they had to do on the pitch.

“We haven’t really spoken about it to be honest about it,” he said.

“It probably is behind closed doors but we’re just worried about the game. All the staff might know, but we’ve just been told to worry about the game.”

Luongo added that all the talk surrounding the game in Dhaka had not distracted the Socceroos during their World Cup qualifying win in Canberra.

“It’s the last thing to think about to be honest,” he said.

“We’re at home in Australia. It is always nice coming back and the people have been welcoming. We enjoy playing out in front of everyone. That’s all we’ve been looking forward to all week.”

The Socceroos plan to depart on Saturday and prepare in Singapore before flying into Dhaka on Monday. 

Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.