New arrangements being put in place by Football Australia could see the Socceroos return to Australia to play their home qualifier against Saudi Arabia in November.
Football Australia have announced that advanced discussions are currently underway with the New South Wales Government in order to allow the Socceroos to play their Third Round home World Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia in Sydney, Australia.
The match is scheduled for November 11, 2021.
The recent joint announcement that the Matildas have been given the go ahead to host two matches with fans against Brazil at Western Sydney's CommBank Stadium on October 23 and 26, 2021 does seem to open the door for the Socceroos in November.
Under the agreement being put in place, the 14-day compulsory quarantine period for international arrivals would be not be required for overseas based players and would allow for those players to participate during this quarantine window under strict guidelines.
COVID-19 restrictions have meant that the Socceroos have not been able to host any home matches in Australia since October, 2019. All of their second round as well as their first third round home match against China and their upcoming home match against Oman were required to be scheduled abroad.
Speaking about the upcoming return of mens and womens home games, Football Australia Chief Executive Officer said:
“We have made it our priority to bring our national teams home for international football so this is a phenomenal outcome for Australian football and one which we have been working tirelessly towards behind the scenes with both the Federal and NSW Government for a considerable amount of time now and appreciate the efforts of the NSW Government in particular.
“Our team at Football Australia put together a submission based on global best practice, focused on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of players and staff, which has been accepted by the NSW Government and aligns nicely with its roadmap to opening up.
"The new arrangement, which is the first for any sport in Australia, allows international football to be played within the defined quarantine period, under strict guidelines.
"We are delighted that Australian football has paved the way for international sport to be played in Australia under this new arrangement.
"Whilst industry-leading, we also believe that this builds a solid platform for other industries, like major international events, and the broader entertainment industry, to return to Australia under similar circumstances."
The return of players and fans will most likely be accompanied by restrictions. The NSW Government refused to specify earlier this week if vaccination would be required for players to enter stadiums.
Sources in the Victorian government officials have stated that vaccination would be required for fans to enter into hospitality venues and major events in the state.