Graham Arnold aims dig at Football Australia as Socceroos boss says lack of funding in national game is ‘ridiculous’ compared to Asian rivals Saudi Arabia and Japan
Graham Arnold has bemoaned the lack of funding in Australian football and says the game needs to match Japan and Saudi Arabia in terms of backing if they are to perform at the World Cup.
The Socceroos qualified for this year’s tournament through the play offs after falling behind the Saudis and Japanese in their group, with the two teams going on to earn shock wins over Argentina and Germany respectively.
However, Australia failed to deliver a similar shock against reigning world champions France on Tuesday and were thumped 4-1 to get their campaign off to a poor start, with Arnold blaming the lack of quality within his squad as reason for their defeat.
Australia boss Graham Arnold has bemoaned the lack of funding in the game Down Under
He believes financial support compared to Japan and Saudi Arabia is ‘ridiculous’
He compared the values of the two squads, with the French boasting the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, with the Socceroos squad containing largely A-League players.
And ahead of his side’s crunch clash with Tunisia, Arnold said that the lack of funding in the Australian game is ‘ridiculous’ in an apparent swipe at Football Australia.
‘I think the World Cup is growing on people and there’s more talk about football now and the stadiums are getting fuller and fuller and we just saw Qatar against Senegal and as I said it’s really growing in momentum,’ Arnold said.
‘I think it’s not so much the shock results, it’s the quality of the Asian nations. Asia .. in Australia we don’t respect Asia and what their qualities are. We don’t respect Japan and Saudi Arabia when we played against them in the qualifiers, everyone thought they were pushovers.
‘But the amount of money that you see that the Asian nations are putting into the development of the game and what the game needs, compared to Australia, it’s ridiculous.’
More to follow.