FIFA to OK Jones replacement - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

FIFA to OK Jones replacement

By Guy Hand 07/06/2010 10:12:38 AM Comments (0)

FIFA looks set to give the Socceroos permission to replace Brad Jones in their World Cup squad after the Middlesbrough goalkeeper left to be with his seriously-ill son.

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek admits reserve keeper Jones is unlikely to take part in the World Cup after leaving the team's training camp in South Africa to join his family in France.

Verbeek and Australian officials declined to elaborate on the exact details of his situation, but News Ltd reported his four-year-old son Luca had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Sources say FIFA is almost certain to grant Australia special dispensation to add a replacement goalkeeper if needed prior to the tournament starting on Friday.

But Verbeek said the 28-year-old West Australian would be given time to make up his mind whether to compete or officially withdraw before any final decision was made to ask for a replacement.

"We expect him not to come back - that says enough about the seriousness of the matter," Verbeek said on Sunday.

"The FFA is in contact with FIFA ... at this stage we cannot 100 per cent say Brad is not coming back.

"We have decided he needs to be with (his family), as long as he needs to be there.

"It is a very serious matter and we wish him strength and luck and everything that is necessary for him to be with his family and support his family."

Socceroos skipper Lucas Neill said the close-knit squad had been deeply affected by Jones' news - relayed to the players before their 3-1 friendly defeat by the United States on Saturday.

"We consider ourselves a family, and the news we heard ... it was devastating. It hit all the boys for six," Neill said.

"We wish Brad and his family all the strength and the luck they're going to need.

"I'm sure the character that he is, he'll be big and strong for his family. He has our support."

If Jones does officially withdraw and FIFA approves his replacement, Adelaide United goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic - who is training with the team in South Africa - would come into the 23-man squad.

Verbeek also confirmed star midfielder Tim Cahill has been cleared of any serious neck injury.

Cahill was taken to hospital following the US match for scans after complaining of neck soreness after an awkward first half header.

He is now expected to resume full training early this week ahead of the Socceroos' World Cup opener against Germany on Sunday (Monday AEST).

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news