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Bresciano's dilemma

Risk versus reward

Mark Bresciano is in a pretty unenviable situation right now. The Socceroos midfielder has been fined and is facing a four-month ban for illegalities surrounding his move from UAE side Al Nasr to Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa.

A mainstay of the Australian setup is suddenly pondering the possibility of World Cup omission.

The latest in the tale has Bresciano tipped to challenge the ruling from FIFA, with his agent Iemsagam Abdallah claiming the 33-year-old "has done nothing wrong."

"It's my view that Mark will ask for the ban to be lifted with an appeal through Court of Arbitration in Sport," said Abdallah.

"The verdict came as a huge surprise to him and also to me and the fact is this is a dispute over compensation, which he has sought to resolve from the very start.

"He has done nothing wrong. He had a buyout clause in his contract with Al Nasr which he activated and numerous offers have been made to them to compensate them for that and they have refused at accept any of them."

The best case scenario for Bresciano is for him to appeal and have his ban either overturned or reduced, meaning he will be match fit in time to gain selection for the Socceroos' next friendly in March.

However, the veteran runs the risk of missing the World Cup altogether. If he is denied and the sentence remains the same, the time it took for all the legal processes could mean he is barely able to return to competitive football before Brazil 2014.

It seems the risk is far greater than the reward. Having four months out of the game would greatly harm Bresciano's chances of a Socceroos call-up, but a steadfast training regime in that time and a strong reputation would definitely keep his international career alive.

Of course, Bresciano's camp seem adamant they have a strong case to argue and they may be able to rid the former Parma midfielder of the mental and physical pressure he is sure to face. A bit of perspective is required for one of Australia's most experienced campaigners to ensure he makes the right decision for himself and his country.

Magic Mike

There are few more serious personalities in the A-League than Mike Mulvey, particularly now Graham Arnold and Ange Postecoglou have left for greener pastures. The Brisbane Roar coach prides himself on a tight structure and runs a ship where performances are just as important as results.

That was most evident when he refused to celebrate a 1-0 win over reigning champions Central Coast a fortnight ago. But Mulvey finally got what he craved as Roar cruised past Western Sydney on Friday night.

The two-time A-League winners produced a polished performance to overtake the Wanderers in first place, taking full advantage of an inconsistent display from Tony Popovic's side.

Usual suspects Besart Berisha, Matt McKay, Ivan Franjic and Thomas Broich provided some impressive patches of play in attack, while the Roar's defence mostly sniffed out the Wanderers' raids on goal, although the opposition found themselves in the Brisbane area on a number of occasions.

Add in another strike for super sub Kwame Yeboah and things are finally ticking again at Suncorp Stadium.


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