Veteran Socceroos midfielder Mark Bresciano will be free to represent Australia at the Brazil World Cup next month as his appeal against a FIFA ban continues, according to reports.
Bresciano was hit with a four-month suspension and a $1.9 million fine in November last year, after FIFA ruled his move from United Arab Emirates side Al Nasr to Qatari club Al Gharafa was not legal.
The 33-year-old appealed against the decision, which meant he could have been ruled out of the World Cup if the appeal was unsuccessful and finalised before June.
In December, Bresciano’s lawyers lodged an application for stay with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in an attempt to clear him to play for Al Gharafa and the Socceroos pending the final hearing.
While the application was rejected, Bresciano will have served his suspension by March 13, in time for the start of the tournament according to reports in the Herald Sun newspaper.
He is still able to play in friendlies for his club or Australia until that time.
FIFPro players union vice-president Brendan Schwab told the newspaper the CAS had taken Bresciano’s World Cup ambitions into account.
“Mark is free to play for Australia at the World Cup if selected,” he said.
“It’s decided that his interests are better protected by the stay not being granted and him serving his suspension, as if he were to lose the final decision in March or April then he would be suspended for the World Cup.
“In deciding to appeal, Mark had to take into account the interests of the club and the Socceroos as well as his own. And I expect that the club and Mark will continue the appeal as a matter of principle.
“Having decided that Mark won’t suffer irreparable harm by not being granted the stay, the CAS did not consider the question of whether Mark is likely to succeed with his appeal at the final hearing, so this decision is not an indicator of the final outcome.”