The Socceroos to play October fixture with Oman in Doha after failed travel bubble bid.
The Socceroos are supposed to play Oman next in Sydney but will now have to call the Qatari city of Doha home after they could not secure a return to Australia this month due to the COVID-19 situation in the country.
The Australian FA had hoped that the qualifier match, which comes up on October 7, will take place at the Bankwest Stadium in Sydney as earlier planned after they presented a strict safety measure to the government. But it is understood that the government will not approve the proposal in time for the match.
And so the FA are now set to use the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, the venue for their last ‘home’ game qualifier match against China.
The venue is fully air-conditioned and will help the Socceroos avoid the sweltering conditions of Doha. It was opened in 1976 before renovations between 2014 and 2017. It had significant upgrades for the 2022 World Cup.
After the game against Oman, the Socceroos will travel to Saitama on October 12 to play Japan.
Graham Arnold’s side sits on top of Group B, having picked up six points from their opening two games. They are on a ten-game-winning run in World Cup qualifiers and look in good shape to qualify for the showpiece tournament next year.
They will now hope that the government can allow them to play their November fixture with Saudi Arabia in the Bankwest Stadium in Sydney.