BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Veteran midfielder Tom Rogic has withdrawn from Australia’s squad for next week’s World Cup playoff, citing personal reasons, in the wake of a premiership-winning season at Celtic.
Football Australia announced Tuesday that Rogic had been unable to join the squad in Doha, Qatar, to prepare for the June 7 Asian playoff against United Arab Emirates.
The winner of that match advances to an intercontinental playoff with Peru on June 13 for a spot at the World Cup, which kicks off Nov. 21 in Qatar.
Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold didn’t call up any additional players for the squad.
“My focus must now be on the players we have here in Qatar,” Arnold said. “We have selected an extended squad of quality players and I believe that we will achieve something special for Australia over the next two weeks.”
Australia has played at every World Cup since 2006 but risks missing out after finishing third in its Asian qualifying group behind Saudi Arabia and Japan.
The match in Doha against UAE, which placed third in its group behind Iran and South Korea, is a single-leg playoff to determine fifth place in Asia.
Peru advanced to the intercontinental playoff as the fifth-place team in South America.
Rogic, an attacking midfielder with more than 50 international caps, last week received Professional Footballers Australia’s player of the year award for his role in helping Celtic win the Scottish title under former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.
Rogic, 29, was playing in his last season at Celtic after almost a decade at the Glasgow club.
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