Melbourne Soccer fans’ anger


Melbourne Cricket Ground during a friendly international football game between Australia and Greece on 25 May 2006.

Melbourne’s Greek community is angry as the city looks likely to miss out on a blockbuster Socceroos-Greece international in June.

Melbourne’s Greek community is angry as the city looks likely to miss out on a blockbuster Socceroos-Greece international in June.

Many soccer fans have contacted Neos Kosmos to express their anger following reports that the mooted clash is set to be played interstate.

Greece has agreed on a double-header in Australia, with Sydney and Melbourne originally pencilled in as hosts.

However, according to a Herald-Sun report, a stoush over funding between Football Federation Australia and the Victorian government extraordinarily leaves Newcastle in the box seat to host the second game.

“I can’t believe that the Victorian government and FFA are unable to reach an agreement. If the match is not played in Melbourne this will be a huge disappointment for the Greek community and a loss for both the state and soccer,” Vasilis Gentis, a soccer fan, told Neos Kosmos.

According to media reports, 4 and 7 June were set down as the dates, after the Socceroos’ likely 27 May friendly away to England.

More than 95,000 packed the MCG for the last meeting between the pair in May 2005, when Josip Skoko’s stellar strike secured a 1-nil win for the Socceroos.

This time the match was planned to be played at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne has almost half of Australia’s Greek community while popular Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou was born in Athens before moving here at age five.

It’s understood that Postecoglou was recently approached by the Greek FA about the national coaching position, before they appointed former Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen coach Michael Skibbe.

Neos Kosmos approached FFA for comment but until yesterday did not receive a response.

A spokesperson for Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, refused to talk specifically about the Greece game but said that they were interested in hosting the Socceroos.

The Herald Sun reported that the FFA pitched a financial model to the Victorian government, who made a counter-offer that was rejected. Talks have since broken down.

It’s also understood that the Victorian Government was looking for assurances that the first game would be played in Melbourne, as their decisions are largely based on interstate visitors.


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