The Roar
The Roar


FIFA decision a blow to Olyroos

8th February, 2012

The Olyroos’ dwindling prospects of making the London Games look to have been dealt a final blow after FIFA reversed a critical result in the Australians’ qualifying group.

The peak body has ruled that Iraq fielded an ineligible player in an Olympic football qualifying win last November, and awarded a 3-0 victory to United Arab Emirates.

The decision has propelled the UAE to a share of eight points in the group with Uzbekistan, Australia well off the pace on just three points with two qualifying matches remaining.

Australia will now have to win both their matches (UAE away on February 22 and Iraq at home on March 14) and then hope either the UAE or Uzbekistan fail to register any more points in the group.

Should that unlikely scenario play out the best the Olyroos may then be able to hope for is second place in the group – enough to earn them a play-off with the runner’s up from the two other groups.

The winner of that play-off will have a match against Senegal to claim the last qualifying spot for London 2012.

With the Matildas failing to qualifying in the women’s section, Australia would be without a football team at an Olympics for the first time since 1984.

Iraq had won the November 27 match against the UAE 2-0 but were found guilty of fielding defender Jasim Faisal, who should have been suspended for that game after receiving two yellow cards in two previous matches.

The decision means Iraq is out of qualifying contention, sitting last in the group with just one point.