Socceroos fans to miss out on World Cup qualifier

Australian football fans will miss out on the Socceroos' 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Iraq in Perth tonight as Football Federation Australia confirmed the match will not be shown on a free-to-air television network.

Australia

The Socceroos line up before their international against Greece in June Source: Getty Images

An FFA spokesman told The World Game that the broadcast rights for tonight's qualifier were decided by the Asian Football Federation (AFC) and their marketing agency Lagardere.

SBS's free-to-air broadcast deal for the Socceroos' road to Russia 2018 expired at the end of the last round of AFC qualifying after Australia's 5-1 win over Jordan in Sydney on March 29.

SBS were interested in acquiring the rights for tonight's clash in Perth along with a number of other free-to-air broadcasters but a full explanation for the lack of a deal has not yet been given.

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Tonight’s match will now only be shown on pay television - leaving the majority of football fans in the dark.

It is more than four years since a competitive Socceroos match was last played without any free-to-air coverage, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including qualification, the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and 2018 World Cup qualifiers shown on SBS or ABC.



Pitted in a tricky group including Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, tonight's home clash with Iraq shapes as a vital clash for the Socceroos, with the two teams from Group B automatically qualifying for Russia 2018.




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2 min read
Published 1 September 2016 at 10:05am
Source: SBS