Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic could find himself out of international duty at the end of the month due to growing fears over the Coronavirus.
Rogic’s national team, Australia, were due to face both Kuwait and Nepal in crucial 2020 World Cup qualifying matches at the end of the month.
However, the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) have confirmed on their website that all fixtures taking place at the end of the month and at the start of June have been postponed.
Manager Graham Arnold hadn’t yet announced his side for the games at the end of the month. However, it would’ve been a brave supporter that bet against Rogic being there.
The AFC’s announcement, meanwhile, has still left the door open to matches taking place. They’ve stated that the games can still go ahead with the joint-approval of both FIFA and the AFC. However, that will only be the case if certain health and safety requirements are met.
Hopefully Rogic won’t be going anywhere
It’s frustrating for Rogic that his international plans have effectively been halted. With Australia set to face Chinese Taipei and Jordan in June, it’ll be disappointing for him to potentially miss out.
However, from a Celtic perspective, we would rather he wasn’t put in any danger whatsoever. Combined with that, we could do with not losing him at a crucial stage of the season.
Australia’s previously scheduled game against Nepal was set to take place only five days before a crucial trip to Easter Road in Premiership action. There’s no certainty that the attacker would’ve been fully over any travel-tiredness picked up on the journey back to Scotland.
What it does mean, of course, is that the games will need to take place at another stage in the future. Ideally, it wouldn’t disrupt any future plans Celtic have.
It’s all a bag of ideas at the moment of course. There has been no further announcement by the AFC or FIFA regarding when these games will be played. But with Rogic coming into form, it would be ideal if he didn’t pick any injuries up during the run-in.
It remains to be seen what happens between now and the end of the season with regards to these games.