Graham Arnold to complete Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup campaign

Football Australia today confirmed that Australian men’s national team Head Coach, Graham Arnold will remain in his position until the end of Australia’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM campaign.

This confirmation comes following the completion of Australia’s Asian Qualifiers – Road to QatarTM group stage in Jeddah on Wednesday morning (AEDT), where the Socceroos lost 1-0 against Saudi Arabia in their final match in Group B.

The Socceroos finished in third spot in Group B with four wins, three draws and three losses, missing out on a top two finish which would have earned the nation direct qualification to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.

With 4.5 slots available to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, Australia will now participate in the play-off stage which will commence with a one-off match against the third-place finisher in Group A, United Arab Emirates, to be played in Qatar on 7 June 2022. Should the Socceroos win in this AFC play-off match, there will be another one-off match, also played in Qatar, against the fifth-placed CONMEBOL side, Peru, on 13 or 14 June, with the winner securing a place in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM.

Football Australia will continue to work closely with Graham to ensure the Socceroos have the best possible preparation for the play-off stage.

Chair of Football Australia, Chris Nikou said: “The Board of Football Australia believed it was important that we provided a stable environment and to get on with planning for the play-off phase given the very short turn-around. By confirming that Graham will remain Head Coach of the Socceroos until the completion of our FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM campaign, it enables Graham, his support staff and the playing group to move forward with certainty, and without delay, to ensure the best possible preparation for the next phase of qualification.”

Chief Executive Officer of Football Australia, James Johnson said: “Graham has Football Australia’s support and after nearly four years in the role, still has the opportunity to finish the job he was appointed to in 2018 and see through his commitment to the national team.

We now turn our sights to the difficult play-off stage in June, our final opportunity to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM. As we have done throughout the campaign, we will work closely with Graham to ensure the team has the necessary resources, support and the approach required to achieve the best possible outcome and ultimately qualification to our fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup.”

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