Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) chief executive Adam Vivian has rubbished suggestions the Socceroos might be distracted by an ongoing pay dispute.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) released a statement from chief executive David Gallop on Thursday questioning why PFA had informed the media of an ongoing grievance relating to national team payments just days before Australia face Kyrgyzstan in a World Cup qualifier.
But after speaking to Australia’s squad at a training camp in Dubai, Vivian slammed the alleged implication from FFA that the players would not be fully focused on Tuesday’s match in Bishkek.
“During the meeting the players instructed the PFA to categorically reject any suggestion that their focus for the upcoming qualifier would waiver due to the media speculation,” Vivian said.
“In accordance with the players’ instructions, this matter has been ongoing for the past six months and has never detracted from their performances over this period. These are players that are plying their trade at the very highest levels of the game and their commitment to the national team is not in doubt.
“The players also reiterated their full support of the PFA in this matter.”
Earlier on Thursday, Gallop was quoted as saying: “The PFA’s decision to make public statements about a confidential and independent dispute resolution process days before a FIFA World Cup qualifier is inappropriate and unnecessarily disruptive.
“The matters in question relate back to 2010, were first raised in August last year and are not material to the current qualification campaign.”