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By ESPN Staff

Australia hoping to play England in friendly

SYDNEY, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Australia are hoping to cash in on England's failure to qualify for next year's European Championship by organising a friendly against them.

Football Federation of Australia chief executive Ben Buckley said he had begun talks with Football Association officials about the possibility of playing a match in either Sydney or Melbourne.

'We are pursuing a team to play in late May, during the FIFA congress week and now that England are out of the European championships clearly they would be an option that we would want to pursue,' Buckley told reporters.

'At the moment England are focusing on a number of other issues rather than what they're doing next May but we did have some preliminary discussions with them a while ago and we'd like to open those up again.'

Australia and England have a long rivalry in many sports, especially rugby and cricket, but have not played each other in soccer since 2003 when Australia won 3-1, the first and only time they have beaten England.