Australia set to replace New Zealand for a friendly against England at Wembley

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The Socceroos are set to step in for New Zealand in match against England next month at Wembley.

THE Socceroos are set to play England next month after New Zealand pulled out of a scheduled friendly at Wembley.

The All Whites were to meet England on November 12 but have withdrawn due to COVID-19 complications.

The Socceroos are poised to take New Zealand’s spot, with British reports stating that negotiations between England’s Football Association and Football Federation Australia are at an “advanced stage”.

COVID-19 travel concerns would be less of a factor the Socceroos, with the Australian squad likely to be consist entirely of Europe-based players.

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold would need to travel to England for the match.

The Socceroos’ most recent meeting against England was in 2016 when they lost 2-1 to the Three Lions at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

The teams also met in England in 2003 when Australia recorded a famous 3-1 win in London.


A Football Federation Australia spokesman said match and training camp opportunities in the United Kingdom were being sought for the Socceroos and the Matildas during next month’s international window.

“At this point no arrangements have been finalised, however ongoing discussions are taking place with numerous associations and stakeholders with the ambition of locking in activity for both teams,” the spokesman said.

“In doing so, FFA continues to monitor and consider the unpredictable global COVID-19 landscape in parallel with these discussions and scenario planning.”

The All Whites confirmed their withdrawal from their scheduled clash with England via a statement on the New Zealand Football website.

“It is with deep regret that we have been forced to cancel our participation in the upcoming match against England at Wembley,” NZF CEO Andrew Pragnell said.

“It is not an action taken lightly, this is a match we all wanted to play, however … a significant number of the team would be subject to quarantine or restrictions on their return home.

“This would heavily disrupt their domestic seasons and potentially jeopardise their professional careers.

“The shifting nature of travel restrictions and commercial flight availability under COVID means that we do not have certainty we could assemble a squad at Wembley on this day and defaulting on this fixture at the last minute is not an option.”


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