Socceroos return to Perth for World Cup qualifier

The Socceroos will start their journey to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Perth, returning to the WA capital for the first time in a decade.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the West Australian Government announced the first home qualifier will be played at nib Stadium.

The last time the Socceroos played an international in Perth was a friendly against Indonesia in 2005.

The date and opponent for the first round of 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying will be confirmed in early April when the draw is conducted by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

It is expected the first home qualifier will take place in either June or September 2015.

The Socceroos have now scheduled matches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Newcastle in recent times, giving football fans from all over Australia an opportunity to watch the new-look Socceroos in action.

“It’s fantastic that we have been able to work with the West Australian Government to take the Socceroos to Perth for the first home qualifier as we start our qualifying journey for the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” said FFA Chief David Gallop.

“We will have as many as nine home games throughout the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign so we will be working with State Governments all over Australia to take the team to as many places as possible.

“The Socceroos represent the nation on the global stage and we are excited to have the chance to throw them into the mix for Major Event Corporations and State Governments. The team is a valuable asset and we will be looking for deals that recognize that value.”

Socceroos Coach Ange Postecoglou said: “The Socceroos are a team for all Australians and it is great that we will play in Perth as we strive to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

“The Socceroos received tremendous support from fans all over Australia during the Asian Cup and now it’s Perth’s turn to come out and get behind the team. “

The first round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers comprises eight groups of five AFC nations, which will see all teams play home and away in a round robin format, meaning the Socceroos will play four matches in Australia.

The winners of all eight groups and the four best runners up will then progress to the final stage of qualifying, which will see the 12 nations drawn into two groups of six with another round of home and away matches signifying a further five World Cup Qualifiers on Australian soil.

Football West Chairman Liam Twigger was delighted the national team would be playing in Perth and urged fans to get behind the Socceroos.

“I congratulate both Football Federation Australia and the WA Government for bringing the Socceroos to Perth,” Mr Twigger said.

“This will be a great opportunity for WA fans to show their support for international football at nib Stadium.”

Every Socceroos FIFA World Cup Qualifier will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports.