Rogic drops out of Australia squad for World Cup qualifiers


BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Veteran midfielder Tom Rogic has pulled out of Australia’s squad for next week’s World Cup qualifiers, citing personal reasons, following a title-winning season at the Celtic.

Football Australia announced on Tuesday that Rogic was unable to join the squad in Doha, Qatar to prepare for the June 7 Asian qualifier against the United Arab Emirates.

The winner of this game will advance to the intercontinental qualifiers with Peru on June 13 for a place at the World Cup, which begins on November 21 in Qatar.

Socceroos head coach Graham Arnold has not called up any additional players for the team.

“Now I have to focus on the players we have here in Qatar,” Arnold said. “We have selected an extended squad of quality players and I think we will achieve something special for Australia over the next two weeks.”

Australia have played in every World Cup since 2006 but are in danger of missing out after finishing third in their Asian qualifying group behind Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The match in Doha against the United Arab Emirates, who finished third in their group behind Iran and South Korea, is a one-way match to determine fifth place in Asia.

Peru qualified for the Intercontinental Qualifiers as the fifth team from South America.

Rogic, an attacking midfielder with more than 50 international caps, was awarded the Australian Professional Footballers’ Player of the Year award last week for his role in helping Celtic win the Scottish title under the former Socceroos manager. Angel Postecoglou.

Rogic, 29, was playing his final season at Celtic after almost a decade at the Glasgow club.

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The Associated Press