November 28 – An AFC Cup tie between Australia’s Macarthur FC and Shan United of Myanmar has been moved from Sydney to a neutral venue in Bangkok after the Australian government refused to grant visas to the visiting players.
Macarthur were criticised by human rights groups for playing an away match against Shan in Yangon in late September. The return fixture will now be played at Bangkok’s BG Stadium on Thursday.
“This move to a neutral venue follows the Australian government declining to grant Australian visas for Shan United FC players and officials, meaning there was no viable way of playing the game on Australian soil,” the Australian FA said in a statement.
Myanmar has been embroiled in a bloody conflict since the country’s military took power in a coup against the elected government in 2021.
The Australian government currently advises against travel to Myanmar “due to the dangerous security situation”.
Macarthur would have had to forfeit their place in the second-tier continental club competition if they had failed to fulfil the fixture.
“Football Australia would like to thank the Asian Football Confederation for their approval of these alternative arrangements,” the FA statement added.
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