Brisbane Roar Coach Mulvey Says A-League Should Follow FIFA International Dates
A-League side Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey "has called for the A-League to fall into line with the rest of the world by going into recess on FIFA dates to avoid the national competition being weakened," according to Marco Monteverde of the COURIER MAIL. The Roar could be without Matt McKay, Jade North and Ivan Franjic for their season-opening clash with Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Oct. 13 "due to Australia's friendly with France a day earlier in Paris." Mulvey said, "What needs to happen in the future is for the A-League to come into line with almost every other league in the world by not scheduling matches on FIFA dates. It's not an ideal situation that we're currently in, (but) with the A-League still in its formative years, it's probably three or four years away before it's going to happen." The A-League has gone into recess on previous occasions during the competition's eight-year history, "but in recent times has been played on FIFA weekends." A-League CEO Damien de Bohun did not rule out returning to breaks in future years, but conceded that "it was tough due to seasons needing to fit in with tight broadcast schedules." De Bohun: "The A-League draw is carefully designed to make the most of the 'clear air' between October and Christmas. This approach has produced record crowds and TV ratings over the past two seasons" (COURIER MAIL, 8/21).