Melbourne to Host World Cup 2026™ Qualifier as Subway Socceroos Kick off Their Campaign


Melbourne’s AAMI Park is set to host the Subway Socceroos as they embark on their journey towards FIFA World Cup 2026™. The qualification game is slated for Thursday, 16th November (8.00pm AEDT), with the Australian team, under Head Coach Graham Arnold, awaiting the victor of the Bangladesh-Maldives clash.

Tickets for this match start from $20 Child, $25 Concession, $35 Adult, and $90 Family, with a Football Account Pre-Sale at 12:00pm AEST on Friday, 22 September 2023 and General Public On-Sale at 3:00pm AEST on Monday, 25 September 2023 via Ticketek.

Melbourne to Host World Cup 2026™ Qualifier as Subway Socceroos Kick off Their Campaign

The November FIFA Men’s International Window signifies the commencement of the Second Round of qualificationwhich the Subway Socceroos automatically entered courtesy of their #3 ranking within the Confederation at the time of the Official Draw, where Australia was drawn in Group I alongside Palestine, Lebanon and the winner of Bangladesh and Maldives.

Their opponent for the clash at AAMI Park – Bangladesh or Maldives – will be confirmed after the completion of the two-leg Playoff during the October FIFA Men’s International Window.

Football Australia’s CEO, James Johnson, expressed his enthusiasm as the Subway Socceroos enter a thrilling new chapter, aiming to capitalise on the remarkable strides they have made over the past year.

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“We’re so proud of what Graham and his players have been able to achieve in recent times, this group have continued to elevate the profile of Australian football globally, which is evident through the quality of fixtures Football Australia has strategically secured since Qatar,” Johnson said.

“The journey now begins once again for this group, with this match at AAMI Park the very first in a new FIFA World Cup qualifying cycle, and amongst all of that there will also be the AFC Asian Cup in January 2024. It is a busy but certainly exciting time for the Subway Socceroos which includes the selection of several new faces into the senior men’s national team since last year’s World Cup.

“AAMI Park is a fantastic venue for football and Victorian fans have always shown our national teams’ tremendous support. I would like to acknowledge the Victorian Government through Visit Victoria for their continued support of football, we are so thankful for their ongoing commitment to our game,” Johnson concluded.

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Subway Socceroos’ Head Coach Graham Arnold said he was looking forward to getting qualification underway.

“We’ve had the opportunity to bring some younger players into the squad over the last 12 months and we’ve tested them against some high-quality opposition. It has provided us with some invaluable experience, and we’re in a great position as we approach the beginning of a new World Cup qualification campaign,” Arnold said.

“It has been a little while since we’ve been able to play in Australia and enjoy the support of a home crowd, which provides a huge lift for the squad. The Victorian football community are great supporters of our national teams, and we’re excited to get back to AAMI Park and start our journey towards 2026,” concluded Arnold.

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Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos said it’s fantastic to welcome the Socceroos to Melbourne for what is set to be a huge FIFA World Cup 2026™ qualifying match at AAMI Park.

“This Socceroos FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier will be another blockbuster major event on our sporting calendar, allowing Victorians to witness elite sport in their own backyard,” Dimopoulos said.

“Football fans and athletes will enjoy upgraded infrastructure and facilities at AAMI Park, with the Government’s $25 million investment ensuring it remains one of Australia’s premier rectangular sporting venues.”

During the Second Round – which doubles as direct qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup 2027™ in Saudi Arabia – the Subway Socceroos will play these three nations in a home-and-away round-robin format, between November 2023 and June 2024. Should Australia finish Group Winner or Group Runners-Up, they will directly qualify for the next Asian Cup.

HOME: Australia v winner of Maldives and Bangladesh, Thursday 16 November 2023 at AAMI Park, Melbourne
AWAY: Palestine v Australia, Tuesday 21 November 2023 at Venue/City TBC

HOME: Australia v Lebanon, Thursday 21 March 2024 at Venue/City TBC
AWAY: Lebanon v Australia, Tuesday 26 March 2024 at Venue/City TBC

AWAY: Winner of Maldives and Bangladesh v Australia, Thursday 6 June 2024 at Venue/City TBC
HOME: Australia v Palestine, Tuesday 11 June 2024 at Venue/City TBC

Catch the Subway Socceroos FIFA World Cup 2026™ Qualifiers on Network 10 and Paramount+

MATCH DETAILS

$1 (plus GST) from every ticket sold for this match will be donated to the CommBank Pararoos – Australia’s CP national team for male footballers with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or symptoms from a stroke.

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Subway Socceroos v Bangladesh/Maldives

Date: Thursday, 16 November 2023
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Time: 8.00pm AEDT
Ticket Prices: Start from $20 Child, $25 Concession, $35 Adult, $90 Family
Football Account Pre-Sale: 12.00pm AEST on Friday, 22 September 2023
General Public On-Sale: 3.00pm on Monday, 25 September 2023 via Ticketek
Broadcast: Network 10 and Paramount+

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