Canberra, Australia (BBN)-Socceroos stalwart Matt McKay says he and his teammates are committed to travelling to Bangladesh for the team’s World Cup qualifier, if it goes ahead in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, even if his wife isn’t happy about it.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is awaiting a decision from FIFA on the status of next Tuesday’s fixture, thrown into doubt last month after militant activities and continued threats forced Cricket Australia to cancel its tour of the country, reports the Roar.
A key security official from FIFA met a delegation of Bangladesh and Australian football associations in Dhaka at the weekend to assess the situation.
Socceroos players will be advised of the verdict this week, and are aware they can ill afford to drop crucial qualification points by forfeiting, given their precarious second-placed standing in Group B behind leaders Jordan.
McKay says the group are united in their resolve to play anywhere authorities tell them is safe.
“To be honest, my wife is a bit more worried than anybody else,” McKay said on Monday in Canberra, where the Socceroos were assembling in camp for Thursday’s match with Kyrgyzstan.
“It’s a difficult thing but, for me, the FFA and our government wouldn’t send us there if they didn’t think it was safe.
“We’re relying on them. We’ll go if we’re told it’s safe to go and we’ll get three points.
“It’s our job. We love playing for our country and we won’t give that up.
“We’re looking forward to that trip, if it’s there or wherever they take it. We’ll just wait for that decision.”
A wave of killings has plunged Bangladesh into crisis, with the Australian government’s official travel advice citing “reliable information” suggesting “militants may be planning to target Australian and Western interests”.
The FFA’s original request to have the match moved to a neutral venue was rejected by FIFA, with the world governing body showing no signs of changing its mind.
That’s despite its decision last week to move two of Palestine’s qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Malaysia to neutral ground due to security concerns.
McKay says he is not really that worried, mainly because he and his teammates know well how extensive and experienced the Socceroos’ security team is.
“Even if it is (dangerous), we’ve got heaps of security that are great, that travel with us all the time, that are here now and who travelled with us to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan before, so we feel very safe.”