Socceroos to put Dhaka concerns on hold

The Socceroos will put aside safety concerns in Bangladesh for the next 24 hours in order to concentrate on Thursday’s important World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan.

The Professional Footballers’ Australia (PFA) met with the players on Tuesday night for several hours to talk about the situation, where it was agreed they would only re-visit the discussion following Thursday’s game in Canberra.

Australia sits second Group B ahead of crucial matches against the Snow Leopards and then Bangladesh in Dhaka on Tuesday, with the latter fixture still up in the air.

Only last month Cricket Australia postponed a scheduled two-Test tour of Bangladesh due to security fears in light of the Australian Government’s official travel advice.

The situation remains unresolved with the security risk in Bangladesh still being evaluated, but FIFA have rejected Football Federation Australia’s request to play the match at a neutral venue.

PFA CEO Adam Vivian told FourFourTwo: “It's been very challenging, but the boys have said let's pick this up after the game.

“Let's focus on the game for now and re-convene after post-match to work out the security elements around Bangladesh and have that in a more comprehensive manner.”

Several Socceroos have said this week they are keen for the fixture to go ahead, including PFA president Matt McKay. Vivian moved to temper the players’ enthusiasm.

“It’s not necessarily the concern from a player level,” Vivian said. “Footballers just want to play football at all times.

“But they’ve got to manage the anxiety of their partners, mothers and children and people in their lives like that, who are acutely aware that there is a potential threat that exists.”

Vivian is coincidentally travelling to FIFA headquarters in Switzerland this week, where he’ll have the opportunity to discuss athlete safety.