31.05.2022 01:47 h

Socceroos lose playmaker Rogic for World Cup qualifier

Australian midfielder Tom Rogic has withdrawn from his side's crucial World Cup playoff against the United Arab Emirates next week, the Socceroos said on Tuesday.

The Socceroos are off to Doha to face the UAE on June 7 in the Asian qualifying playoff, with the winner taking on Peru a week later for a spot at the World Cup finals in Qatar this year.

Football Australia said Rogic, who has 53 caps for the Socceroos, cited personal reasons for the withdrawing from the playoffs and will not be replaced in a squad that has been reduced to 28.

National team coach Graham Arnold described the move as "unfortunate" but insisted his "focus must now be on the players we have here in Qatar".

Rogic was last week named the Australian Professional Football Association's men's player of the year and has been a key midfield playmaker at Scottish club Celtic for nearly a decade.

Despite the blow, Arnold said he has faith in the players already assembled.

"We have selected an extended squad of quality players and I believe that we will achieve something special for Australia over the next two weeks," he said.

Rogic's club future is also unclear after bidding an emotional farewell at Celtic Park this month, having been central in helping secure the Scottish Premiership and Scottish League Cup for the Glasgow side.