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Australia ditch plans for international friendly against England

Australia have become the second team in a week to scrap plans to face England at Wembley due to Covid concerns.

Sportsmail revealed last week the Socceroos were in advanced talks to face Gareth Southgate‘s team in a friendly next month after neighbours New Zealand pulled out of the original date citing ‘restrictions on their return home’.

But now the All Whites’ replacements have abandoned their plans to visit London next month due to ‘complexities’ in travelling and taking part in sporting activities in Europe during the current pandemic.

Australia have become the second team in a week to scrap plans to face England next month

Australia have become the second team in a week to scrap plans to face England next month

Australia have become the second team in a week to scrap plans to face England next month

Neighbours New Zealand also pulled out of a match, citing 'restrictions on their return home'

Neighbours New Zealand also pulled out of a match, citing 'restrictions on their return home'

Neighbours New Zealand also pulled out of a match, citing ‘restrictions on their return home’

The Australian FA have been locked in talks with their English counterparts over the past week but have now ruled it is not safe to travel to Europe with infections rising across the continent.

The news arrived as a fresh headache to the Football Association, who have now confirmed a clash against the Republic of Ireland on November 12, though Sportsmail can reveal Costa Rica emerged as a late alternative but travel related issues with that fixture posed obvious problems.

The game against the Irish will negate virtually all travel concerns for players given all but one of Stephen Kenny’s previous squad are based in the UK.

England will play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley on November 12

England will play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley on November 12

England will play the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley on November 12 

Club managers are growing increasingly concerned about the viability of international football during the current pandemic believing it will only lead to more positive tests.

Likewise, some Premier League bosses hoped England would consider discarding the friendly altogether amid growing player fatigue concerns in a congested season.

But Southgate views the games as vital towards the team’s development with the European Championship just eight months away, while the FA also have broadcasting agreements to adhere to. 

Source:

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