With the FIFA World Cup fast approaching, the AFL Finals in full swing as well as the trade period coming around the corner, there’s plenty to unpack in this Wednesday’s sports round-up.
A retirement backflip and fresh faces headline Socceroos squad announcement
Goalkeeper Mitch Langerak has come out of international retirement to push for a place in November’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, after being named in the Socceroos squad for their final friendlies prior to the tournament.
Langerak joins first-timers 17-year-old sensation Garang Kuol and Scottish-born Jason Cummings in the 31-man squad who will will take on New Zealand across two matches, one in Brisbane on 22 September and one in Auckland on 25 September.
Langerak, who has been playing for J1 League club Nagoya Grampus in Japan, said he was excited to be back on the international stage.
“When I had made the decision to retire, we were in the middle of strict lockdowns in Japan and at the time, I was facing the prospect of spending months away from my wife and young children, so I had to make the hard call to step away from international football for my family,” he said.
I am grateful for another opportunity, it was tough watching the team from afar and I was so happy for everyone when we qualified for the FIFA World Cup and I can’t wait to re-join my teammates in Brisbane.”
Caitlin Moran punishment is in for controversial post on the Queen’s death
NRLW player Caitlin Moran has been banned for one match and handed a 25 percent fine of her current contract for making a post regarding the Queen’s death that breached the league’s code of conduct.
An Instagram post on Moran’s story featured a picture of the Queen and a caption that celebrated her death.
The post was deleted after eight hours online, with the NRL saying that the “public comments made by the player have caused damage to the game”.
The 25-year-old is required to receive education and training concerning the appropriate use of social media.
Moran is one of the most high-profile players in the NRLW, and has made five appearances for the Indigenous All Stars.
Jarrod Berry’s eye-gouge ban overturned
Brisbane midfielder Jarrod Berry is free to play in this Friday night’s preliminary final after successfully appealing his one-match suspension for eye gouging Demons’ star Clayton Oliver.
The Lions were able to sway the tribunal to agree that Berry’s actions were not unreasonable in the circumstances, given Oliver was applying pressure to Berry’s throat.
Berry said he felt “under threat” and “did not intentionally make contact with Clayton’s face”.
AFL legend and former Brisbane Lion Luke Hodge came to Berry’s aid as a character reference.
Junior Rioli requests trade
West Coast Eagles small forward Junior Rioli has requested a trade to Port Adelaide.
The 27-year-old won a premiership in his second season at the Eagles in 2018, but copped a two-year suspension at the end of the following season for tampering with a urine sample.
West Coast stuck by Rioli, keeping him on their playing list and he eventually made his return this year playing 13 games and kicking 14 goals.
The club is not happy with the Tiwi Islands product’s decision to make the move to South Australia.
“We could not have done any more to support Junior since his infraction in 2019,” CEO Trevor Nisbett said.
“We facilitated his appeal and subsequent return to football, so this decision is bitterly disappointing.”
Rioli has changed his name from ‘Willie’ to ‘Junior’ until at least August next year for cultural reasons following the death of his father.
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