Austria to travel to Scotland for World Cup qualifier - but may be without all their German-based players

Austria coach Franco Foda has confirmed that he will bring his squad to Scotland later this month for the World Cup qualifier between the two teams – but possibly without any German-based players on the ‘plane.

David Alaba, centre, and Julian Baumgartlinger are two of Austria's German-based players who may miss the trip to Scotland

The Scots host the Austrians on March 25 in the first Group F encounter but strict rules quarantine rules could force Foda to leave several key players behind.

Any movement between Germany and the UK has been banned by German authorities without a 14-day quarantine period on return, with no exemptions for elite athletes.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Several European matches involving German teams have already been shifted to neutral venues, such as Liverpool’s meeting with RB Leipzig, and Manchester City’s Champions League clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

After a weekend of uncertainty over the fixture, Foda has confirmed that Austria will travel to Glasgow for the match, but faces the possibility of having to pick a squad of players who are not based in Germany.

This means national team captain Julian Baumgartlinger of Bayer Leverkusen will miss out, along with 48-cap midfielder Stefan Ilsanker of Eintracht Frankfurt, and RB Leipzig forward Marcel Sabitzer.

Sixteen players involved in the last international break in November play their club football in Germany but Austria could be without up to 30 German-based internationalists.

Bernhard Neuhold, Managing Director of Austrian football’s governing body ÖFB, said: “We had to choose one of two unsatisfactory options. We did that after weighing up all the parameters.”

Foda added: “There was no satisfactory option. We made our decision with a view to the entire qualification campaign.

"If we had swapped home advantage, we would have had to play three logistically challenging and gruelling away games within a short space of time in Moldova, Israel and Scotland in September.

"We are also hoping for a real home advantage with our fans behind us in autumn. It is important for us that the decision has been made. Now it's time to focus on the things that we can influence.”

However, the ÖFB has not completely given up hope of securing an agreement that would see the Bundesliga players released by their clubs, and has sent a letter to all German clubs that could yet see Foda’s German-based contingent make the trip to Glasgow later this month.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.