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AFC confirm play-off date

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 7:34 AM
 
 

AFC confirm play-off date

Brisbane Roar will play its AFC Champions League play-off match in Buriram, Thailand on February 13.

Despite earning the right to host the match courtesy of Australia’s higher points ranking during the Asian Football Confederation’s evaluation process Brisbane was forced to seek a change of match day for the fixture.

With Suncorp Stadium unavailable on the matchday designated by the AFC and a Hyundai A-League match scheduled the next day Brisbane sought to have the matchday officially changed by the AFC.

The club were told in response the calendar had been finalised and could not be altered.

In these circumstances, under AFC guidelines, a change of matchday must be agreed to by both clubs.

While agreeing to change the matchday, Buriram United stipulated the agreement came on the proviso the match was hosted in Thailand.

Given Suncorp Stadium’s unavailability, the Hyundai A-League schedule and in conjunction with the Football Department, Brisbane Roar management concluded the change of venue gave the club the best opportunity to progress not only in the AFC Champions League, but also in the Hyundai A-League.

Brisbane Roar General Manager Sean Dobson has been working closely with Football Federation Australia and Buriram United since the announcement of the qualifying match to come to an agreeable arrangement.

“All parties have worked tirelessly to come up with a viable solution and we believe we’ve reached that point now,” Dobson said.

“We’d have preferred to play the fixture in Brisbane, but at this time the option to play away from home is the best decision.

“This move has allowed the Football Department adequate time to prepare our squad for both competitions.”

Brisbane Roar Football Conditioning coach Ken Stead said the experience gained from participating in last season’s ACL would prove pivotal in the club’s ability to compete successfully in both competitions, despite the addition of the play-off match to the qualification process.

“I’m very confident we can go to Buriram and get the result,” Stead said.

“We’ve been prepared for the possibility we would have to play the fixture in Thailand, so from that point of view it won’t change our planning.

“There is also enough time for us to return and prepare for the Wellington match the following weekend.”

 
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