Aussies and Kiwis pull out of European trips in November match window

October 23 – Australia have joined New Zealand in pulling out of planned national team events in Europe due to the Europe-wide spike in coronavirus cases and increasing international travel restrictions.

Both countries had been planning to use the last international window of the year to gather players both domestic and European based players for training camps and matches.

New Zealand withdrew from their against England on November 12 “due to further travel and player availability complications caused by Covid-19”. Ireland will now fulfil this fixture.

NZF CEO Andrew Pragnell said: “It is not an action taken lightly, this is a match we all wanted to play, however, as it stands of the last All Whites squad selected for the November 2019 tour, even excluding the New Zealand based players, a significant number of the team would be subject to quarantine or restrictions on their return home. This would heavily disrupt their domestic seasons and potentially jeopardise their professional careers.

“The shifting nature of travel restrictions and commercial flight availability under Covid means that we do not have certainty we could assemble a squad at Wembley on this day and defaulting on this fixture at the last minute is not an option.”

Football Federation Australia (FFA) in the end gave up on both matches and training camp options for both the Socceroos and Matildas.

“Regrettably, the ongoing and worsening COVID-19 landscape across Europe has provided complexities and risks to assemble players from across Europe and Asia and, following the latest advice from medical professionals, FFA will not be proceeding with activities in Europe at this time,” said an FFA statement.

“FFA is committed to ensuring Australia’s national teams at all levels return to action as soon as possible, however ensuring the health and wellbeing of players and staff remains FFA’s foremost priority.”

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