Football 1 year ago

Victory rail against fixture logjam

  • Victory rail against fixture logjam

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Victory head coach Kevin Muscat reacts during the round 25 A-League match between the Melbourne Victory and the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on March 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has wasted no time teeing off at Football Federation Australia this season, accusing the game's governing body of putting safety behind other considerations when fixturing.

Victory will need to play three matches in 12 days to start their season due to International Champions Cup and FFA Cup commitments.

Glamour friendlies with Italian giants Juventus at the MCG on July 23 and Atletico Madrid on July 31 in Geelong await Victory.

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Their round of 32 FFA Cup tie follows three days after, made more difficult after being drawn away to Newcastle Jets.

Given Muscat is in the middle of a squad overhaul and won't have his usual compliment of players available to him, the championship-winning coach declared the situation "far from ideal".

He said Victory fans would be the losers, deprived of seeing their best team in at least one of the fixtures.

"We're the only team playing in the ICC yet we've got to play an FFA Cup game three days after Atletico," he said.

"Unfortunately something's got to give because we won't be able to play our strongest team for the three games.

"I apologise now to our members and fans if we don't have our strongest team available for the Atletico game or the FFA Cup game.

"I understand that there's many other contributing factors to scheduling the three games ... TV, you name it and somewhere around seventh or eighth is player safety.

"It's unfortunate that safety is the last one that's taken seriously."

While Victory was party to the decision to schedule their Atletico date in the middle of the FFA Cup window, the club believes it had a case to play the Round of 32 match a week later when Sydney FC, Brisbane and Perth Glory are in action.

An FFA spokesperson said the league needed to juggle competing factors.

"FFA considers a wide range of factors when scheduling which games are played on the scheduled match dates for the Westfield FFA Cup," a statement read.

"The three-day break between matches is one of the important factors considered."

The A-League season begins in October.

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