Asa To Enforce Fifa Regulations
The Australian Soccer Association (ASA) today confirmed it would invoke Article 40 of FIFA Regulations* against two of the six players who were selected but did not travel to Venezuela for a national team match. Those players are Scott Chipperfield and Mark Viduka.
The Australian Soccer Association (ASA) today confirmed it would invoke Article 40 of FIFA Regulations* against two of the six players who were selected but did not travel to Venezuela for a national team match. Those players are Scott Chipperfield and Mark Viduka. In the case of the remaining four players - Harry Kewell, Josip Skoko, John Aloisi, and Brett Emerton - ASA is satisfied they were unable to travel due to injuries which have been substantiated by medical reports provided to ASA. Scott did not connect with a flight from Madrid to Caracas on Monday afternoon and instead of taking one of two alternative flights suggested to him he chose to return to Switzerland. In the case of Mark Viduka, ASA emphasises that while it is sympathetic to Mark's personal situation, it notes he has played twice for Leeds since returning from Australia to visit his ill father. Furthermore, ASA is not satisfied that Mark has sustained an injury which would have prevented him taking the field in Caracas. ASA would like to emphasise that it has been a difficult process in reaching these decisions. Different time zones, the difficulty of verifying medical reports and the involvement of many people in the decisions about individual players, contributes to the difficulty. To help address this in future, ASA will establish an office in Europe to service all of ASA's needs, including providing a base for international games to be played as "home" games. ASA will appoint an executive, to be based in Europe, to represent its interests and improve player/club liaison. (Australia will play South Africa at Loftus Road on 30 March). ASA is committed to the principle that Australia should field its best possible team at all times and that those players selected should make themselves available. At the same time, ASA recognises that the few opportunities for international matches in a crowded football calendar place unique pressures on all involved - administrators, players and their clubs. In this decision, ASA has taken a sympathetic view of the circumstances of all players but ultimately decided there were grounds for invoking Article 40 of the FIFA Regulations in the cases of Scott Chipperfield and Mark Viduka. If action was not taken against these players it would run counter to the spirit and letter of both ASA and FIFA policy and be unfair to those players who found time in their busy schedules to represent Australia. It would also be unfair to those clubs which, under very difficult circumstances, released players to represent Australia against Venezuela. ASA is committed to ultimately achieving FIFA World Cup qualification for Germany 2006. The match in Venezuela was an important step in the preparation of the team to achieve this goal. The successful OFC qualifier will face a play-off in November 2005 against the fifth placed COMNEBOL team, currently Venezuela. Today's was one of the few opportunities available to experience South American conditions and opponents due to the congested 18 round CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying schedule. *Article 40 of the FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players clearly states that any player selected by the national association must comply with the summons and failure to make themselves available, for whatever reason, will render the player not available for his club for the period he should have been released, plus prolonged for an additional 5 days.
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