Brisbane, Australia ( Associated Press) – Veteran midfielder Tom Rogick has pulled out of Australia’s squad for next week’s World Cup playoffs, citing personal reasons, in the wake of a premier-winning season at Celtic.
Football Australia announced on Tuesday that Rojic has been unable to join the squad in Doha, Qatar, to prepare for the June 7 Asian playoffs against the United Arab Emirates.
The winner of that match advances to an intercontinental playoff with Peru on 13 June for a place in the World Cup, which begins in Qatar on 21 November.
Socceros head coach Graham Arnold did not call any extra players for the team.
“My focus should now be on the players that we have here in Qatar,” Arnold said. “We have selected an expanded squad of quality players and I am confident that we will achieve something special for Australia in the next two weeks.”
Australia has played in every World Cup since 2006, but runs the risk of missing out after finishing third in the Asian qualifying group behind Saudi Arabia and Japan.
The match in Doha against the United Arab Emirates, which are third in their group behind Iran and South Korea, is a single-leg playoff to determine fifth place in Asia.
Peru advanced to the Intercontinental Playoffs as the fifth-place team in South America.
Rogick, an attacking midfielder with more than 50 international caps, was awarded Professional Footballers Australia’s Player of the Year last week for his role in helping Celtic win the Scottish title under former Soccros coach Ange Postekoglu.
Rogick, 29, was playing in his last season at Celtic after nearly a decade at the Glasgow club.