Football Federation Australia Balks At Paying Socceroos Top Dollar In East Asian Cup Bid
The Football Federation Australia and Professional Footballers Australia "could be on a collision course" over an FFA request for the players' collective bargaining agreement not to apply to national football team Socceroos for the East Asian Cup qualifiers being played in Hong Kong, according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. Several weeks ago, the FFA approached the PFA after suggestions that prize money for the tournament had been downgraded from A$1.5M ($1.6M) to A$200,000. A PFA spokesperson said, "Yes, the FFA approached us some time ago and put in a request for the CBA not to apply for this tournament. We are considering it, but any decision will be left to the broader players, the players' executive and the Socceroos committee." The Socceroos are "understood to be angry but are unlikely to make any decision on FFA's request until they return to Australia following the qualifiers" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/6). In Adelaide, Val Migliaccio reported the "unexpected budget cut" could make the decision to enter the Socceroos into the East Asian Cup qualifiers for the first time "a double blow given the tournament has also robbed the A-League of its best Australian players for two rounds." The tournament, which is hosted by the East Asian Football Federation and is sanctioned by the Asian Football Confederation, "does not comply with FIFA's release of players for int'l duty" (THE ADVERTISER, 12/6).