Spain pulls plug on Socceroos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Spain pulls plug on Socceroos

By Hamish Esplin 19/03/2003 06:53:44 PM Comments (0)

The on-again-off-again soccer friendly between Australia and Argentina has been cancelled because of television contractual problems with host country Spain.

The match was due to be held on April 1 in the Canary Islands but Soccer Australia (SA) said it had failed to receive sanctioning from the Spanish Football Association.

The FIFA representative handling the organisation of the friendly notified SA that a clause in the Spanish FA's contract with its broadcaster blocked the match.

"There's a particular clause in there that does not allow them to sanction this particular match on the 1st of April," an SA spokesperson told AAP.

"The clause says that while they (Spain) have a match on the 2nd of April themselves they're not entitled to have another match within a one-week period around that date."

On April 2 Spain is hosting Armenia in a 2004 European Cup qualifying match.

Originally the friendly against Argentina was to be staged in England but this plan was scrapped late last week.

When Socceroo coach Frank Farina announced on Monday that the friendly would go ahead, he did so knowing only a verbal, not written, assurance had been given by the Spanish FA.

"Soccer Australia is deeply disappointed that following the verbal assurances received from our FIFA match agent and a written assurance from the Argentinean FA confirming the game, the Spanish FA are now unable to comply with the wishes of Argentina and ourselves," SA acting chief executive Stefan Kamasz said.

Farina was also disheartened with the news after claiming it would have been another chance for the Socceroos to increase their standing in world soccer after upsetting England 3-1 last month.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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