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 By AAP

Australia's World Cup farewell match still in doubt - FFA

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts evaluate Australia's World Cup group and assess whether they or any other Asian teams can progress.
The FC crew explain why Australia's outlook at the World Cup is dreary after being drawn with France, Peru and Denmark.

There's no guarantee the Socceroos will play on home soil before the World Cup, with Football Federation Australia putting the customary farewell match in doubt.

In the past three World Cups, Australia have played a tune-up friendly, facing Greece in 2006 at the MCG, New Zealand in 2010 at the same venue and in 2014 at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Despite drawing big crowds and revenue, such an event is no certainty ahead of Russia 2018, after the revelation new coach Bert van Marwijk wants to prioritise training over friendly matches in the lead-up to June's tournament.

Australia already have friendlies scheduled in the March international window -- against Norway in Oslo and Colombia in London.

But Van Marwijk's opinion prompted FFA chief executive David Gallop to admit nothing was set in stone for a home fixture around May.

"We've had some reasonably preliminary discussions with Bert about that," Gallop said.

Australia customarily have a final home friendly before heading off to the World Cup.

"We do have some options for a farewell game in Australia, but we're in no way locked into anything. We will work through that over the next few weeks.

"It would be wonderful to have a big farewell game back on home soil, but we would need to have the kind of commercial return for it to make sense."

Gallop said a hefty challenge was luring opposition of a high-enough calibre to make it worthwhile preparation.

Another consideration was the logistics of transporting the bulk of Australia's squad from Europe for a few days before flying straight back to Russia.

"Those things we don't quite have in place at this point," he said.

"It's a long way to bring the team, most of whom are already in Europe, and we have to be cognisant of that as well.

"So the picture I'm painting is there's a range of factors that need to be worked through before we can confirm whether we'll have a home farewell game or not."

At his first media conference on Thursday in Sydney, Van Marwijk voiced a clear preference for training so he could learn as much as possible about his playing group in the four short months before the Socceroos face France, Denmark and Peru in the group stage.

"Training is very important for me," van Marwijk said.

"I like to train because then you can improve the team and the players.

"A lot of countries play a lot of friendly games. When I can make a decision, I would not play a lot of friendly games - I'd train more."

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