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Victorious Socceroos contemplate Bangladesh


The Socceroos held a late-night meeting after last night’s World Cup qualifying win over Kyrgyzstan to ascertain how the players feel about their next fixture in crisis-hit Bangladesh.

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Having seen off Kyrgyzstan 3-0 in Canberra, the Australian squad was finally in a position to properly think about Tuesday’s scheduled fixture in Dhaka and any safety concerns.

Until that point, they remained in the dark about whether FIFA had deemed the country’s capital safe, amid terrorism threats and the killing of foreign nationals for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Football Federation Australia’s earlier request to have the match moved to a safer location was rejected – and the organisation was waiting for a verdict this week from the world governing body.

Its security staff visited Dhaka last weekend to assess the protocols set out by the Bangladesh Football Federation, while FFA’s own team have been on the ground this week.

At this late stage the Socceroos will be expected to make the trip, especially with three qualifying points on the line in a match they are heavily favoured to win.

“We have a meeting tonight and we’ll discuss it,” Nathan Burns said after the match.

“We have team leaders, they have a point of view. They have all the facts, and we come all together and we make the right decision I suppose.”

Massimo Luongo thought management may already have made a plan “behind closed doors”, but the players had been told to stay focused on the Kyrgyzstan game before thinking about next week.

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

“We were briefed a little bit, but we’ve all come to the decision that we’d get this game out of the way and then we’d sit down tonight after the game and make a decision.

“I think we’re going to be informed of what’s going on over there and how we can deal with things over there.”

Despite Cricket Australia’s recent withdrawal from the two-Test tour of Bangladesh, many Socceroos players have said they will play anywhere they are told is safe enough with their security team on board.

Matt McKay on Monday said he was “not really” that worried, even though his wife was.


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