Malaysia to host Syria-Australia World Cup playoff

The Socceroos will play Syria in Malaysia next month

The Socceroos will play Syria in Malaysia next month. JOE CASTRO

Syria will host the first leg of the Asian World Cup playoff against Australia on October 5 in the Malaysian city of Melacca, Football Federation Australia said on Thursday.

After days of conflicting messages, including claims that the game would be played in Qatar, Jordan or the UAE, Football Federation Australia finally received confirmation on Thursday that the first leg will be on October 5 at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka, Malaysia, kicking off at 8pm local time (11pm AEST).

They were at a loss of where to host their matches for the World Cup qualifiers and were almost disqualified by the AFC, until Malaysia stepped up at the eleventh hour and volunteered to host all of the "home" fixtures.

Three of those games were played at Hang Jebat Stadium, with the Qasioun Eagles notching wins over Uzbekistan and Qatar and a draw with China.

The victor of the playoff will face the fourth-placed team from North and Central America in another two-legged encounter in November for a spot at Russian Federation 2018. "It's a great stadium and it's going to be a great experience on 10 October", FFA CEO David Gallop said.

The winners of the intercontinental playoff will secure a berth in the 32-team field for next year's World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

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