June 21, 2021

Australia scrapped England friendly plan

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Australia called off plans to play England in a friendly due to the “worsening Covid-19 landscape across Europe”.

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) had been close to confirming two friendly fixtures in England during the international break in November, with the Three Lions and the United States reported as the proposed opponents.

The Socceroos’ decision comes a week after New Zealand pulled out of a scheduled friendly against Gareth Southgate’s side next month because of travel and player availability amid the pandemic.

Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring England's equaliser
Image: England will play Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley on November 12

The Football Association confirmed on Wednesday that Republic of Ireland had stepped in to face England on November 12 at Wembley Stadium.

An FFA statement said: “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.

“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.”

Sky Sports News has contacted the FA for comment.