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SBD Global/May 8, 2013/International Football

Alessandro Del Piero Caught Between Sydney FC, FFA In Fight Over Game Appearance

A three-way showdown "is looming between Football Federation Australia, Sydney FC and Alessandro Del Piero over the star forward's availability" for the match between the A-League All Stars and ManU at ANZ Stadium on July 20, according Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The 38-year-old Italian "is being widely promoted as the star attraction for the A-League side, but it appears he is unlikely to play against the world's biggest club." Instead, Del Piero -- and the entire Sydney FC squad -- "are expected to be preparing for a friendly match in Japan." Del Piero's staff has "put the final touches on a match for Sydney FC against J-League side Sagan Tosu on July 24." Del Piero's profile in Japan is "enormous," where the Serie A "remains extremely popular." But having heavily used Del Piero’s image in promotional material for the All Stars match, the FFA "will be fuming if he fails to show up for the sold-out event." On Tuesday, Del Piero "attracted the most votes of any forward in an online fan poll to help determine the make-up of the side." FFA CEO David Gallop has not "given up hope of Del Piero showing up." Gallop said, "The question of availability is something we are working through at the moment. We certainly haven’t ruled out any players at this stage" (SMH, 5/8).
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