FIFA's decision to schedule two crunch trans-pacific World Cup play-off matches inside five days has been described as 'inhumane' by Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto.
By
Nick Houghton

Source:
SBS The World Game
17 Oct 2017 - 12:37 PM  UPDATED 17 Oct 2017 - 12:37 PM

Honduras will host the Socceroos on Friday November 10 (Saturday November 11 AEDT) in the first match of the two leg Intercontinental play-off before the two sides meet again in Sydney less than five days later on Wednesday November 15.

With no direct flights between Honduras and Australia, both teams will be in transit for more than 24 hours ahead of the second-leg at ANZ Stadium.

The Colombian-born Pinto took aim at FIFA in an article by Honduran newspaper Le Prensa for not factoring the difficult travel requirements when scheduling the make-or-break World Cup qualifiers.

Socceroos rise seven spots in FIFA rankings
The Socceroos have moved up seven spots to number 43 in FIFA's latest world rankings after their World Cup qualifying win over Syria.

"It's inhumane of FIFA to put the dates so close with such a long trip in between them," he said.

"We are working on focusing the team’s concentration. If we don’t qualify for the World Cup it will be a failure.”

While he was not looking forward to managing the travel difficulties, Pinto admitted it would be more difficult for Australia who had to make the trip twice in seven days.

Socceroos decide on base for Honduras match
The Socceroos will throw themselves into the fire ahead of their World Cup playoff with Honduras, opting to spend the lead-up week to their away match in the hostile Central American nation.

The experienced manager said he was determined to wrap up the play-off tie in the first leg by bombarding the Socceroos shaky defence from the opening whistle.  

"Honduras must control and attack Australia," Pinto said. 

“We have the players. This is a great generation. The World Cup is a dream and we must fight to conquer it."