Australia to send full complement to under-23 AFC Championships
The Olyroos selection standoff is over, with the entire squad heading to China for the under-23 AFC Championships.
A Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) demand for talks over the selection of star A-League names ended with an 11th-hour olive branch from FFA, who were prepared to listen to individual cases for exemption.
But given the rushed and compromised nature of the process, no players decided to put their heads above the parapet and ask for pardons from the tournament.
Clubs have made known their disappointment at losing key players for the busiest month of the A-League season of the the tournament.
Central Coast, one of the hardest-hit, went so far as to demand an tribunal hearing with FFA -- which found in favour of the governing body.
Daniel De Silva, Stefan Mauk, Bruce Kamau, Thomas Deng, George Blackwood and Paul Izzo are among the A-League regulars that will leave their clubs for the tournament.
They won't receive a cent for playing in China.
FFA will compensate the clubs by paying the wages of the players while they're away; but the clubs won't receive any extra for being deprived of individuals for up to five A-League matches.
There's also a strong overseas contingent, led by Socceroo Alex Gersbach, including Ajdin Hrustic and Deni Juric.
Each of the 23 players have different levels of enthusiasm for the tournament.
Many are eager to participate, while others -- particularly those who won't be eligible for the 2020 Olympics should Australia qualify -- can't understand why they've been selected.
PFA requested last-minute talks between coach Ante Milicic and affected players to discuss their selection, but Milicic's non-involvement was a key factor.
The Olyroos coach has been in transit to China, landing on Tuesday with much of the squad, and was unavailable to hear players out.
No players have gone public with their wishes to be overlooked for the championships.
Australia faces Syria on Jan. 11 to kick off their campaign, with group stage matches with Vietnam and South Korea to follow.
Should the Olyroos reach the last four of the tournament, players will not be able to play for their clubs until early February.