Australia coach Graham Arnold has called on the government to help ensure the Socceroos play their World Cup qualifier against the Palestine team at a safe, neutral venue due to security concerns in the region.
Hamas militants killed more than 1,300 Israelis in their attack on communities in southern Israel on Oct. 7. Health authorities in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip have said at least 3,000 people have died in Israel’s 11-day bombardment since the attack.
Australia is due to play the Palestine team in Asia qualifying on Nov. 21 at a venue 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 going on at the moment it’s quite scary.
“We’re obviously 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 help so the decision is safe.
“We need to be safe.”
Australia beat New Zealand 2-0 in a friendly in London on Tuesday, its last match before its opening 2026 World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Melbourne on Nov. 16.