PERTH, Australia (AP) Coach Ange Postecoglou has retracted comments saying a pay dispute between Football Federation Australia and players was affecting Australia's preparations for Thursday's World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh.
Australian players boycotted commercial appearances in Perth this week because of an impasse between Professional Footballers Australia and the FFA over a new collective bargaining agreement.
Postecoglou said Tuesday he was angry the dispute was ''getting played out in the Socceroo camp ... while the game is on, lay down your guns and pick them up as soon as it's over.''
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On Wednesday, Postecoglou said ''as a senior employee of FFA, I understand that my comments were inappropriate.''
Admitting he was frustrated by the situation, he said the players' actions ''will directly affect commercial partners and will inevitably hurt the Socceroos program.''
Later Wednesday, Postecoglou said veteran Tim Cahill would be the acting Socceroos captain for the Bangladesh match. Cahill who will be playing his 84th senior international, replaces regular skipper Mile Jedinak, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury he sustained while playing for English club Crystal Palace.