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Nov 15, 2013

Socceroo Bresciano banned by FIFA

Australian soccer hierarchy will help Mark Bresciano fight to overturn his four-month FIFA ban which could ruin his World Cup ambitions.

FIFA suspended Bresciano and fined him $A1.87 million, ruling his transfer from a Qatar club to a United Arab Emirates club was illegal.

But Bresciano will play for Australia against Costa Rica in Tuesday night's friendly, Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Saturday.

Beyond that, his future leading into next year's World Cup is uncertain.

"FFA is currently studying the judgement and considering the options," a FFA spokesman said.

"We will do all we can to assist Bresciano and his representatives in having this issue resolved.

"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."

Bresciano joined UAE club Al Gharafa last year, from Al Nasr in Qatar. But Al Nasr challenged the transfer and FIFA ruled the move broke the sport's laws.

The specific reason for the FIFA verdict, or when Bresciano's ban was due to begin, were not immediately clear.

But his club Al Gharafa would appeal FIFA's verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the club's general secretary Jassim Al Manosuri said.

"This is not a unique case, there are many precedents, we as a club are not a part of this case," he said in a statement on the club's website.

"As the player ended his contract with his former club before joining us, our next step will be filing an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

A hearing date has yet to be set.

A suspension of Bresciano casts doubt on the 33-year-old's bid to play in a third consecutive World Cup.

The creative midfielder, a veteran of 72 internationals, is central to the game plan of new Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou.

Should the ban be upheld, it would eat into the months of preparation for the World Cup in Brazil starting next June - and could also possibly cover soccer's month-long showpiece.

In addition to fining Bresciano, FIFA also banned Al Gharafa from making any transfers for a year.

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