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Published on : Tuesday, July 18, 2017
The blame game continues after FFA’s confirmation that the September 5 match will take place at Melbourne’s AAMI Park. Since June 2012, Brisbane hasn’t hosted a World Cup qualifier.
The state government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, claimed that an offer was made “in good faith” for hosting the Socceroos-Thailand match. But FFA said the offer was taken off the table by TEQ due to “commercial” issues understood to include ground signage.
According to an FFA spokesman, “Football Federation Australia’s track record is strong in taking major matches including FIFA World Cup qualifying matches to Australia’s major state capitals. For this reason we offered the Socceroos-Thailand game to Queensland exclusively and spent many weeks in negotiation, being clear about what was and was not possible. Ultimately aspects of the commercial rights did not suit Queensland and they withdrew from the process. FFA then pursued alternative locations and reached agreement with the Victorian Government to host this vitally important match in Melbourne. We will continue to look for opportunities to play international matches in Queensland in the future.”
TEQ group executive Megan Saunders said: “Our focus is getting value for Queensland taxpayers and delivering positive tourism outcomes.”