Soccer-Australia to break for internationals as new calendar unveiled

·2-min read

(Reuters) - The calendar for the new A-League season will include breaks to accommodate Australia's attempt to qualify for next year's World Cup while the campaign will conclude for the first time with the final of the Football Federation Australia (FFA) Cup.

Matches in the A-League had not previously stopped during the international window but will do so in the new season as the Socceroos attempt to qualify for the finals of Qatar 2022.

The new calendar will begin on Oct. 29 with the opening of the A-League and will run for a full year, ending with the FFA Cup final on Oct. 28, 2022.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson said the calendar put Australian soccer at its core.

"It opens with the commencement of the A-League and concludes with the FFA Cup 2022 Final as the last match of the Football Australia season – two iconic moments in the season which all fans can look forward to."

Both the men's and women's leagues will pause for the respective international breaks put in place by FIFA while transfer windows that align with those overseen by the game's governing body will also be implemented.

The arrangement was welcomed by Kathryn Gill, the co-chief executive of the Professional Footballers Australia union.

"The players have long advocated for international windows to be integrated within domestic fixturing, allowing them to play for club and country without interruption, so we welcome the format," she said.

"The calendar will help to alleviate pressure on players who may miss vital matches and career opportunities, giving them the opportunity and certainty to represent Australia at the highest level while remaining available for their clubs for critical fixtures in the A-League and W-League."

(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Karishma Singh)

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