Townsville Bulletin

Home isolation is sought for Socceroos attacker


FOOTBALL Australia is seeking approval from the Victorian government for Melbourne Victory star Chris Ikonomidis to self-isolate at home rather than be forced to serve two weeks of hotel quarantine on his return from overseas Socceroos duty this month.

Ikonomidis will be one of just two A-league players named this weekend for Socceroos’ World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Japan in Doha and Saitama respective­ly next Thursday and on Tuesday week.

The other is Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant who was part of the previous Socceroos squad and elected to remain abroad following the matches against China and Vietnam rather than come home to serve a fortnight of hotel quarantine.

A travel bubble set to be approved to allow players to come into NSW without serving quarantine will result in Grant returning home following the upcoming qualifiers and before

Australia’s clash with Saudi Arabia on November 11.

But Ikonomidis will have to isolate on his return to Victoria, with FA lobbying the state government allowing him to do that at home rather than in stricter hotel conditions.

FA is also hopeful of a similar arrangemen­t for a host of Melbourne City players, including start trio Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout, following next month’s matches against Saudi Arabia and China, who the Socceroos meet away on November 16.

“Beyond October’s matches we are also seeking the support of the Victorian government on its quarantine rules for fully vaccinated locally based Socceroos players, and prospectiv­e Socceroos, to participat­e in our remaining FIFA World Cup qualificat­ion matches,” FA chief executive James Johnson said.

“These players … would be returning to Australia from overseas as the nation reaches 80 per cent double vaccinatio­n rates.”

 ?? ?? Chris Ikonomidis will play in this weekend’s Socceroos’ World Cup qualifiers. Picture: Getty
Chris Ikonomidis will play in this weekend’s Socceroos’ World Cup qualifiers. Picture: Getty

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