Adelaide United have withdrawn its players from the Olyroos squad amid a growing dispute with Football Federation Australia (FFA).
Reds chairman Greg Griffin was quoted in a letter written to he FFA in the Adelaide Advertiser on Wednesday whereby the club said it wouldn’t release players for this month’s AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers in Myanmar.
Griffin said Adelaide would withdraw all of its selected players except Riley McGree, who is on the cusp of a move to Club Brugge.
Paul Izzo, Ben Warland and Jordan O’Doherty are the current Reds players in the squad, while George Blackwood is also on the verge of joining Adelaide.
“The fact that the participation agreement prepared by FFA and given to the clubs to execute without any right or review or amendment may state that the FFA can direct the clubs to release players whenever they choose, regardless of whether any game is to be played in a FIFA window or not is not legally binding among AUFC,” Griffin wrote in the letter to FFA CEO David Gallop.
Griffin said the club had no obligation to release the players for the tournament where Australia will face Brunei, Singapore and hosts Myanmar.
Adelaide general manager of football Ante Kovacevic labeled the tournament as “mickey mouse” on Tuesday, after Olyroos coach Josep Gombau selected players who wouldn’t be available for the 2020 Olympics due to their ages.
“We always try to get our young players to get pushed into the national team and then we get punished for, let’s be honest, a joke of a tournament,’’ Kovacevic told the Adelaide Advertiser.
“Why are we playing an Olympic (age) team, when this isn’t even the Olympics?
“I don’t see the benefit to anybody, you see Germany are playing their younger players like we saw at the recent Confederations Cup and they won.
“So why are we playing our older players? They could have taken an under-20 team to play these nations (in Asia). This is about results."
The Olyroos are due to fly out on Friday.