Australia-U.S. games in major doubt amid pay dispute

Tue Sep 8, 2015 11:00pm EDT
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A festering labor dispute in Australian soccer could scuttle two women's matches between the world champion United States and the Matildas next week, governing body Football Federation Australia has warned.

Some 60,000 tickets have been sold for the Sept. 17 and 20 matches in Detroit and Birmingham but the FFA said there was little hope of a breakthrough in the dispute with Australia's players' association.

"We simply cannot afford the conditions they sought to impose on the game yesterday," FFA CEO David Gallop told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.

"It's just not possible to meet those demands on a couple of days' notice.

"When you've got 60,000 people holding tickets, it's obviously a concern.

"For them ... to seek to boycott matches against the world champions, once in a lifetime opportunities ... we find that very disappointing and we question the direction the players' association are going with this."

The Australian women's team boycotted a training camp ahead of their tour of the United States as part of the ongoing dispute over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The CBA, which was to govern pay and conditions for both the men's and women's national teams, and players in Australia's top-flight domestic A-League, expired on June 30.   Continued...

Aug 16, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The United States Womens soccer team stands for the national anthem before playing Costa Rica at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports