The 29-year-old’s hopes of playing on football’s biggest stage were shattered after it was confirmed on Sunday that he has been unable to recover from the knee strain picked up in a 3-0 win over St Mirren last month with Melbourne City’s Marco Tilio called up in his place.
It is a devasting blow for both Boyle and the Australian national side ahead of their opening fixture against world champions France on Tuesday, the Aberdeen-born Scot having become a key figure for the Socceroos since pledging his allegience to the country of his father’s birth in 2018.
However, Boyle is putting a brave face on things, revealing that he plans to stay with the squad in Doha to cheer on his team-mates in their Group D fixtures against the French, Tunisia and Denmark.
“Not really sure I can put this into words how gutted I am to withdraw from the World Cup squad,” Boyle wrote on Instagram. “Gave it my all to be fit and it just wasn’t to be this time unfortunately!
“Extremely proud to have been selected and to have played my part in qualifying for the tournament. Grateful to be kept in camp and show my full support to the lads on and off the field and to experience the whole World Cup! Will no doubt be back stronger than ever but for now my full focus is on being the vibe manager for the lads!”
Australia head coach Graham Arnold added: “We all feel for Martin and it is a cruel blow for him. He has been an integral part of our journey to get to Qatar and we thank him for everything he has given the Socceroos during this campaign. We also thank his club, who have done everything possible from their end to try and help. He will be back and we can’t wait to see him in the green and gold again next year.”