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FFA won't budge over season opener

Melbourne Victory and Sydney must play their A-League season opener on October 8th meaning their respective marquee signings are unlikely to be in opposition. Both clubs' new signings, Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton, are not available because of possible international commitments on the 7th October when Australian clash with Malaysia in a friendly in Canberra, or the October 11 World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney.

But FFA boss Ben Buckley said that the World Cup campaign has to be given priority. ''The World Cup qualifiers are of obvious importance and we would not compromise Australia's chances in those. There were also logistic difficulties in gaining access to the venue.''

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Dave Williams

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