Football 3 years ago

Paris attacks test Socceroos' focus

  • Paris attacks test Socceroos' focus

The weekend's deadly attacks in Paris have understandably rattled the Socceroos as they prepare to enter dangerous territory in Bangladesh.

Australia have been given the green light to play their final World Cup qualifying match of the year in Dhaka on Tuesday night, with a substantial security detail in tow.

But just as the squad were mentally composing themselves in camp in Singapore over the weekend, ready to fly on Monday, they were hit with the news of coordinated terrorist attacks across the French capital.

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The assault, which has so far taken the lives of at least 130 people, has been claimed by Islamic State, the same militant group that took responsibility for killing two foreign nationals in Dhaka recently.

"The events in Paris sort of (affected us)," coach Ange Postecoglou said on Monday.

"Not just for us - I think anybody in the world, when things like that happen, you want to be close to home."

But Postecoglou said his players for the most part have been comfortable and their minds trained on the clash.

"They're very focused on the game tomorrow night now, and they understand that's the most important thing for us," he said.

"If we're going to do what we're doing - and family and friends and everyone around us may be concerned about us - our job is to make sure we do the job professionally so that all that anxiety can be worth something."

Football Federation Australia said it had no plans to deviate from their decision to travel, made on Friday following extended security assessments and government intelligence.

It comes amid confirmation on Sunday of "unprecedented" security measures for the match at Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Sniffer dogs and bomb disposal units will be deployed at the venue, while all markets and business outlets at the stadium and in the surrounding area will remain shut for two days before the game.

Dhaka's deputy police chief Maruf Hasan said the measures were "much higher" than any other international matches in the country to date.

"It is unusual circumstances for sure, there's no denying or hiding that," Postecoglou said.

"All you can do is make sure that whatever concerns or otherwise people have, you try and (deal with) those things then focus on the job at hand.

"So far everything has been good. Obviously we're still in Singapore so we've still got to travel to Dhaka later tonight, and I guess that will be another test for everyone just to see how focused they are."

An FFA spokesperson said it was unknown how many fans would be in Dhaka for the game.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has advised travellers to "exercise a high degree of caution" in Bangladesh.

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