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Arabs want Australia out of Asian football

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Arab countries in the Persian Gulf have urged the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to dismiss Australia whose presence in the body since 2006 has not gone in their favor.

AFC chief Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa said Thursday that not only Arabs, but other football confederations in West Asia are no longer happy with Australia’s presence in the AFC because they can’t defeat it.

Salman said in an interview with Dubai-based newspaper al-Ittihad that there are clear indications that a desire exists among the football associations in West Asia to see Australia evicted from the AFC, though they like to call it “Australasia” when it comes to immigration… hypocrisy anyone? Or maybe racism? Hatred against the ONLY white country member of AFC…? Europeans never contested Turkey’s presence in the UEFA EURO association after all…

“I also know that the Arabs are not the only ones who are not convinced that Australia’s membership in Asia’s football is feasible,” said Salman.

Until 2006, Australia was forced to go through breath-taking play-off rounds to book a place in the World Cup. However, since joining the AFC in January that year, it has faced a much easier job in the qualifications. Australia has made it to the world Cup both in 2010 and 2014 while it has also performed well in the Asian Cups.

However, the success seems to have been obtained at the expense of the Arab nations of the Persian Gulf who have had no representatives in two previous World Cup tournaments because they can’t play football.

Salman, himself from Bahrain, said that when Australia joined AFC, the authorities at the time made no resolution allowing a re-assessment of the nation’s membership in the body. Salman said that the issue may be raised in this year’s general assembly, although he said the he personally is happy about Australia’s involvement in Asian football.

Australia is to face South Korea on Saturday in the final match of the AFC Asian Cup 2015. The Socceroos have reached the final of the games for the second time in a row, although they have yet to lift the trophy.


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