Australia football captain Leckie opts out indefinitely over quarantine issue

Leckie, who was named the new Australia captain in June, will sit out next month's World Cup qualifying games against China and Vietnam, set to be held in Doha and Hanoi, respectively.

FILE PHOTO: Leckie is likely not to make himself available for selection for the duration of the tough 14-day hotel curbs, as they would separate him from his family for a long time.   -  Getty Images

Australia captain Mathew Leckie has chosen to withdraw from the national team indefinitely over the government's quarantine curbs on international travel, the 30-year-old said on Friday.

Leckie, who was named the new Australia captain in June, will sit out next month's World Cup qualifying games against China and Vietnam, set to be held in Doha and Hanoi, respectively.

He is likely not to make himself available for selection for the duration of the tough 14-day hotel curbs, as they would separate him from his family for a long time.

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"Now with COVID and the rules in Australia, we would go there for 10 days, come back and quarantine for two weeks, be home for maybe a week maximum, and do it all over again and basically do that three times in three months," Leckie told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

"I would probably be in quarantine more than I would be at home... We just arrived back from Germany. We just tried to settle in, there's a lot to do and I just wouldn't be able to leave my family alone.

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"In terms of rules about travelling overseas, quarantine times and all that, it's a bit of a mystery. At the moment, it's this (camp for the games against China and Vietnam), then I will have to try and see where we're at next month," he added.

Leckie said he was "devastated" to tell coach Graham Arnold about his decision.

"I told him my situation of being away for so long, being away from my family. It wasn't easy but he understood... He was obviously disappointed as well," Leckie said.

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