Malaysia confirmed as venue for Socceroos playoff
THE first leg of Australia's make-or-break World Cup qualifier with Syria will be played in Malaysia, it has finally been confirmed, after FIFA demanded that a venue be chosen.
After days of conflicting messages, including claims that the game would be played in Qatar, Jordan or the UAE, Football Federation Australia finally received confirmation on Thursday that the first leg will be on October 5 at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka, Malaysia, kicking off at 8pm local time (11pm AEST).
The stadium is some two hours from the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and there are concerns over the quality of the facilities and the pitch there.
FFA had made several representations to FIFA over the delay in choosing a venue, with Ange Postecoglou anxious to secure training facilities and a team hotel.
It's believed FIFA set a deadline for the Syrian FA, and the choice of Melaka has been rumoured for days.
After the game the Socceroos will return as quickly as possible to Sydney, to prepare for the second leg at ANZ Stadium on October 10.
The winner of the Asian play-off will take on the fourth-placed team in the Central and North American region (CONCACAF) - currently the US, with two games to play.
"This is one of those occasions where every fan can make a difference. It's a great stadium and it's going to be a great experience on October 10," FFA CEO David Gallop said.