A Fox Sports commentator has slammed Australian soccer players who move to the Middle East for higher pay, the Herald Sun reported on Monday.
“I’ll say what the Middle East has going for it, and I’ll put it in a nutshell, it’s about the money,” said Robbie Slater, who is a former player for the Socceroos Australian national team.
He also told Australian soccer website Four Four Two that players who move to the rich Arabian Gulf League should not be considered for Socceroos selection.
“I have a massive problem with players in their prime and younger players going to the Middle East,” Slater said.
Australian player Brett Holman has been signed for Dubai-based side al-Nasr, after enduring a difficult first season with Barclays Premier League team Aston Villa.
Holman “has copped out. He had a good time in Holland, one year that was a bit hard in England, and he has left – taken the money in the Middle East – and I don’t rate it,” said Slater.
“When you get to the end of your career, you look back and see if you were a success or not – not how much money you’ve got,” he added.
Holman joins fellow Australians Alex Brosque, Matthew Spiranovic and Mark Bresciano in the Middle East.
Slater also slammed Brosque and Spiranovic, former Socceroos players who have fallen out of favor with coach Holger Osieck.
“I don’t begrudge anyone a payday, but when you’re playing for the national team and preparing for a World Cup, I don’t think it’s the right move,” Slater said.
“I think most people would probably back what I’m saying. I think for a younger player, it’s a poor choice.”