Australia coach seeks help on neutral venue against Palestine team

Australia coach Graham Arnold has called on the government to assist in guaranteeing the Socceroos play their World Cup qualifier against the Palestine squad in a secure, neutral location due to security concerns in the region.

Hamas terrorists murdered more than 1,300 Israelis in their raid on villages in southern Israel on Oct. 7. Health authorities in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have reported at least 3,000 Palestinians have perished in Israel’s 11-day bombing since the raid.

Australia is expected to meet the Palestine squad in Asia qualifying on Nov. 21 at a site to be decided.

“No doubt we’re going to need the government’s support in those type of decisions on where we’re playing Palestine and even Lebanon,” Arnold told reporters in London.

“Because of what is happening now, it’s extremely terrifying.

“We’re not on top of everything that is going on in the security side of things in the Middle East; no doubt the government is more into that than we are – so give us some support so the choice is secure.

“We need to be safe.”

Australia beat New Zealand 2-0 in a friendly in London on Tuesday, their penultimate encounter before their opening 2026 World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Melbourne on Nov. 16.

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