England will face the Republic of Ireland at Wembley after Australia pulled the plug on talks to replace neighbours New Zealand in the November international.
According to the Daily Mail, the Socceroos were in advanced talks to face Gareth Southgate’s side in a friendly after the Kiwis pulled out of the originally-arranged fixture due to “restrictions on their return home”.
And now Australia have followed suit, abandoning plans due to ‘complexities’ in travelling to and from the UK and playing sport in Europe amid the current pandemic.
The proposed game with the USA, also in London, will similarly not be able to go ahead.
With infection rates rising again across Europe and particularly in the UK, the FFA decided it would not be safe or responsible to play at this time.
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Costa Rica were then reportedly set to fill in until the same travel problems were again posed, leaving the Republic of Ireland to fulfil the fixture, given all but one of Stephen Kenny’s last international squad are based in the UK already.
It will still provoke an irksome response from Premier League managers who had hoped the cancellation of the New Zealand fixture would have allowed top players to rest for a week instead in what promises to be the busiest of seasons.