Banned Bresciano could miss World Cup

The veteran midfielder has become embroiled in a Middle Eastern football transfer fiasco, with potentially damaging consequences for his national team
Mark Bresciano, one of Australia's most decorated players, is in danger of missing the World Cup in Brazil after he was slapped with a four-month ban over an illegal transfer to Al Gharafa.

In news that will shock new Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou and fans around the country, Bresciano has been fined $1.8 million and faces four months on the sidelines, as well as the prospect of missing next year's world Cup, unless his appeal is successful.

Al Gharafa, who boasted Harry Kewell in their ranks as a temporary injury replacement player for Bresciano last year, are suspended from all transfer activity for one year.

Al Nasr, home of Australian international Brett Holman, have been notified of their right to compensation by FIFA, despite a report by Gulf News in April claiming 33-year-old Bresciano had bought out the remainder of his two-year contract in the UAE to enable his departure.

Bresciano spent one season in UAE's Arabian Gulf League in 2011-12, scoring 11 goals before making the switch to Al Gharafa, who have appealed FIFA's decision to the Court of Arbitration in Sport.

"This is not a unique case, there are many precedents, we as a club are not a part of this case, as the player ended his contract with his former club before joining us," Al Gharafa club secretary Jassim Al Mansouri said.

"Our next step will be filing an appeal to the court of arbitration for sport."

Hoping to feature at his third successive World Cup, Bresciano is in real danger of missing Australia's build-up to Brazil, leaving him severely underdone for the showpiece event.

But despite uncertainty surrounding his future, Bresciano is free to take part in Tuesday's international friendly against Costa Rica in Sydney - Postecoglou's first game in charge.

"We will do all we can to assist Marco Bresciano and his representatives in having the judgement swiftly overturned and set aside," an FFA spokesperson told News Limited.

"The advice from FIFA is that the suspension doesn't apply to Tuesday night's match against Costa Rica. Marco is available for selection and will continue his preparations with the squad."

The 72-cap veteran has scored one goal in 26 appearances for his new club Al Gharafa.

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