SYDNEY • Australia coach Ange Postecoglou was forced into an embarrassing retraction yesterday after he let rip about a bitter wage row which has overshadowed preparations for today's World Cup qualifier.
He was critical of both the Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the players' union, Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), as the national team players boycotted promotional appearances in Perth ahead of today's game against Bangladesh.
"The fact that both sides think the best time to play it out is in the middle of a Socceroos camp is not good enough," Postecoglou said.
National body the FFA has been locked in the dispute with the union for months.
But the coach's comments appear to have irked the FFA, and he retracted them in an FFA statement clarifying his allegiance to the governing body.
"As a senior employee of Football Federation Australia, I understand that my comments were inappropriate," the 50-year-old said. "In this case, the commercial boycotts imposed by Professional Footballers Australia will directly affect commercial partners and will inevitably hurt the Socceroos' programme.
"I made comments yesterday out of frustration. I acknowledge that the PFA initiated the regrettable situation that has distracted us in Perth. I understand that FFA was compelled to respond in order to explain its position to the game's stakeholders.
"I call on the PFA to undertake that no future Socceroo camp will be targeted in this way."
The tone was in stark contrast with Postecoglou's initial view of the impasse.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS