Sydney (AFP) – Football Australia said Monday they have fined coach Graham Arnold Aus$25,000 (US$18,500) for breaking self-isolation rules after testing positive for Covid-19.
But the head coach can still join the Socceroos when they play Japan this Thursday if he provides a negative PCR test before the game, the governing body said.
Sydney radio station 2GB reported that Arnold had been seen walking his dog at the ocean swimming pool in the Sydney suburb of North Narrabeen without a mask on Sunday, three days after testing positive for the virus.
Covid regulations in the eastern state New South Wales require that people who test positive for Covid-19 self isolate for seven days, only leaving isolation to get medicine or in case of emergency.
Arnold conceded that he had gone out with his dog to Narrabeen Beach, Football Australia said in a statement.
“I sincerely apologise for my error of judgement on Sunday,” Arnold was quoted as saying.
“I accept that I should not have left my home as per the New South Wales self-isolation protocols and will remain at my property until my self-isolation window concludes. I also accept the sanctions that come because of this error.”
Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said the body was “disappointed” to learn of the 58-year-old’s breach of isolation and would fine him Aus$25,000, which would be donated to the Red Cross Flood Relief Fund following recent floods that engulfed towns across Australia’s east coast.
“Graham has been diligent throughout Covid, however on this occasion he has made an error of judgement, which is clearly disappointing,” Johnson said.
“We have sought to act as swiftly as possible on this matter today and have imposed a significant fine, which underscores how importantly we value our representatives abiding by government protocols.”
Football Australia said Arnold had tested negative in his latest PCR tests and would need to test negative again after his self-isolation period to be able to rejoin the Socceroos camp for Thursday’s game against four-time Asian champions Japan, ahead of a showdown with Saudi Arabia in Jeddah five days later.
Australia need to win both matches to ensure automatic qualification for the World Cup in Qatar later this year. Japan will book their spot if they beat the Socceroos.
Australia are three points adrift of Japan, with first-placed Saudi Arabia a further point ahead in Asian Group B.
Regardless of the results, Australia are guaranteed to finish at least third and move to a playoff against the third-placed team in Asian Group A.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
- Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
- Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Abramovich says owning Chelsea ‘honour of lifetime’ as sale set for completion
- Western United upset Melbourne City to win A-League final
- Liverpool and Real Madrid ready for mouth-watering Champions League final
- Chelsea sale to Boehly consortium to be completed on Monday
- Liverpool and Real Madrid ready for Champions League final rematch
- Where to find Liverpool vs. Real Madrid on US TV
- Hrustic, Rogic spearhead Australia squad for crunch World Cup playoff
- Deal Alert: Best streaming deals this Memorial Day Weekend
- Africa beckons for Royal after dramatic draw with Orlando Pirates
- Regret? Skupski prioritises French Open over Champions League ticket