Australia coach Holger Osieck slams FIFA over 5pm kick-off; fears extreme heat
Australia coach Holger Osieck has slammed FIFA for scheduling the Socceroos away World Cup qualifier against Oman in the late afternoon, fearing the effects of extreme heat on his players.
FIFA has listed the kickoff for the June 8 qualifier at 5pm local time in Muscat, where day-time temperatures regularly soar above 40 degrees Celsius at that time.
"We are working on it and I think its unacceptable to play that time of the year," German Osieck said.
"When some bureaucrats make a decision behind their desk in a climatised room and not considering the actual situation outside, I think that is a very questionable decision."
The country's soccer administration Football Federation Australia had previously expressed their concerns about playing a match in the heat before the time was posted, an official told Reuters, and would write to FIFA again in a bid to have the match moved back into a cooler evening slot.
When asked about the chances of having the match moved back, Osieck struck an ironic tone.
"I've been (dealing) with FIFA for quite a while and we know how flexible they are," he said.
The Socceroos original 9.30pm kick-off time in their last qualifier against Saudi Arabia in Melbourne irked the FFA, who lobbied successfully to have the match played earlier out of deference to broadcasters and fans hoping to attend the midweek match.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.