Kick-off 7am Sunday
SYDNEY (AAP): After days of wrangling the kick off time for Australia's first leg World Cup qualifying match with Uruguay in Montevideo has been set by governing body FIFA at 6pm local time on Saturday (0700 Sunday AEDT).
FIFA informed Football Federation Australia yesterday of the decision.
It is a compromise of sorts after Uruguay sought to move the kick off forward from 9pm to its original time of 5pm when its plans for a late night charter flight to Sydney for the second leg match fell through.
Australia suggested a start time of 7pm but today FFA chief executive John O'Neill said FFA accepted the decision which was final.
"In reaching it's decision FIFA consulted with both Associations. Clearly the AUF found itself in a predicament when their plans to charter a flight fell through after they had set the kick-off time," he said.
"At the same time the FFA's position and behaviour in respect of the matter has been entirely correct. FIFA's decision provides a balance between the positions of the respective associations."
Uruguay initially switched the time to 9pm thinking it would prove problematic for the Socceroos as it would be too late to catch a commercial flight home that night and would give the Australians less time to recover from jetlag before the second leg match in Sydney on November 16.
However, FFA overcame that problem by organising its own charter flight.
n All the latest news on Australia's World Cup qualifier, pages 28-29.