Etihad Stadium set to host Greece friendly with Australia

Etithad Stadium is back in line to host the Socceroos and Greece in June.
Melbourne was set to be frozen out of the two-game series against the 2004 European champion after negotiations between the Victorian Government and Football Federation Australia stalled.
But talks have resumed in recent weeks and have advanced to a point where, while not over the line, there is a confidence the second game of the series will be played at Docklands on June 7.
It is a game that would be almost certain to sell out given Melbourne’s huge Greek population and helps to establish a blockbuster couple of winter weeks for the Socceroos.
A grudge match against England is slated for Newcastle or Sunderland on May 27, before Ange Postecoglou’s men return to Australia to face Greece in Sydney on June 4 ahead of the Melbourne game.
It all serves as vital preparation for the start of the final round of World Cup qualifiers, which begin in September.
Talks broke down with the FFA after the Victorian government’s reluctance to commit too much funding to an event they did not have exclusivity for.
Other political considerations were that Sydney would get game one of the series, while the fact Melbourne has the third largest Greek population in the world also means the incoming tourism value of the game would not be high for the local economy.
It means FFA will likely not secure the financial windfall it may have initially hoped for, but to have the game in Melbourne is a far greater look for the sport than if it were to be played in Newcastle, as was potentially to be the case if the Etihad Stadium option fell through.
Greece has not qualified for Euro 2016 in France, but is still expected to bring a near full-strength squad Down Under.
More than 95,000 fans packed the MCG for the last clash between the two nations in 2006, a farewell game for the Socceroos before the World Cup in Germany.

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