'Cahilltex' fuels Socceroos fans' ire as Gallop denies selection influence

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The Socceroos' major sponsor Caltex has transformed a petrol station in North Ryde, Sydney into a 'Cahilltex' to promote Australia's upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign in Russia.

The marketing gimmick hasn't gone down well with all football fans, with numerous people criticising it on social media. 

Some fans went so far as to assert that the selection of the 26-player squad could have been influenced by off-field advertising strategies. 

However when asked by SBS, FFA CEO David Gallop flatly denied the suggestion. 

Tim Cahill, whose name is being used as a pun by Caltex, has been somewhat of a controversial selection having failed to start a club game all season in both his time with Melbourne City and Millwall. 

The all-time leading Socceroos goal scorer did score two crucial goals in the World Cup qualifying victory against Syria in October. 

Should the 38-year-old score in Russia, he would join only three players to have scored in four straight World Cups.

A record also being chased by Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Mexico's Rafael Marquez. 

Australia's squad was cut down this morning from 32 to 26, with another three to go before the start of the tournament. 

Those who missed out include striker Jamie Maclaren, who recently scored a hat-trick for Hibernian against Rangers in the Scottish Premier League. 

Maclaren was the most controversial of the omissions, with numerous fans venting their frustrations. 

However, not everyone had such an enraged response, with some happy that it will promote the sport. 

Australia plays their next match against Czech Republic on June 1 as part of their World Cup warm-up preparations.

SOCCEROOS' 26-MAN EXTENDED WORLD CUP SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Brad Jones, Mat Ryan, Danny Vukovic

Defenders: Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Fran Karacic, Matt Jurman, James Meredith, Mark Milligan, Josh Risdon, Trent Sainsbury

Midfielders: Jackson Irvine, Josh Brillante, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Aaron Mooy, Dimitri Petratos, Tom Rogic, James Troisi

Forwards: Daniel Arzani, Tim Cahill, Tomi Juric, Robbie Kruse, Mat Leckie, Andrew Nabbout, Nikita Rukavytsya

Source: SBS The World Game