Sport Football Mark Bresciano appeal puts World Cup at risk

Mark Bresciano appeal puts World Cup at risk

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Socceroos stalwart Mark Bresciano will put his spot at next year’s World Cup at risk by appealing a four-month suspension for an alleged illegal transfer.

FIFA hit Bresciano with the lengthy suspension and a $1.9 million fine last month, after ruling his move from United Arab Emirates side Al Nasr to Qatari club Al Gharafa was not legal.

FIFA have yet to put a start date on the ban while allowing Bresciano the opportunity to appeal, but had he accepted it when notified last month he would have served it before the World Cup begins on June 12.

By deciding to appeal the ban however, Bresciano’s future is now uncertain with no known timeframe on the appeal process.

Should the appeal be finalised just before June and be unsuccessful, Bresciano would be ruled out of playing in the showpiece event in Brazil.

Lawyers for Bresciano will this week lodge an application for stay with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which could potentially clear him to play for Al Gharafa and the Socceroos pending the final hearing.

“We’re pretty confident, we wouldn’t be appealing if we weren’t,” Bresciano told News Corp Australia.

“It’s risky whichever way you look at it, but we’ve discussed it and in our view it’s a calculated risk.

“It’s not ideal, but I also had to think about missing those four months leading into the World Cup, it could’ve been done but it wasn’t ideal preparation either.

“But the biggest factor in this decision is that I am innocent.

“We’ll wait and see what the CAS decides. If they accept the application for stay I can start playing straight away.”

One of Australia’s best players in the final phase of Asian World Cup qualifiers, Bresciano’s spot looked assured as a crucial creative midfielder in coach Ange Postecoglou’s World Cup squad.

Postecoglou, while not wanting to speculate on the outcome of Bresciano’s appeal, said he hoped the veteran would be able to play while a decision was made.

“It’s more of a concern for the player than it is for me, I’ll deal with what lays ahead and obviously hoping that he’ll be available for both March and the World Cup,” Postecoglou said.

“But at the moment it’s all a bit unknown.

“I’m not as close to it as he is, his advisors made that decision.

“From my perspective the most important thing is the outcome and until we know the outcome there’s no point speculating either way.”