Viduka call-up hits Leeds
By Steve Luckings
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The SocceRoos striker hit the net in the West Yorkshire club's 4-1 win over Wolves on Tuesday night to help move them off the bottom of the table and breed hope the club can avoid the drop.
If the former Celtic ace makes the trip to Caracas it may rule him of the club's all-important clash against arch enemy Manchester United for the clash at Old Trafford three days later.
Elland Road boss Eddie Gray is an avid fan of Viduka and knows the ex-Croatia Zagreb front man is crucial to his plans of keeping the club in the top-flight and would be loathed to lose him for an international friendly so soon after he was given compassionate leave to return home to be by his father, who had been taken ill.
Farina has defended his position to call up the player though saying it will be vital experience playing in South America with Australia's forthcoming World Cup campaign, while firing a broadside at Fifa for taking away Oceania's automatic qualification spot for the championships.
"I'm under pressure as well. Fifa have taken away Oceania's automatic spot and one of games we have to play in our World Cup qualifiers could be in South America," Farina told Sky Sports News.
"It may not be Venezuela we play, but it could be Brazil or someone, and we don't get many opportunities to travel there. I'm under pressure as well.
"You should be speaking to Fifa. If they hadn't taken away Oceania's automatic spot then we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place."
European clubs have always had a gripe with losing players to the SocceRoos because of the mammoth travel distances involved but Farina says he has a job to do which is just as important as any club boss.
"I have had all clubs and players express concerns but I have been asked to name my best team," he added. "I want to put my best team out because if we put on a bad performance it reflects badly on me.
"If you give one player up because a club requests him for one game then you have to give everyone up. I can't give one player special treatment because then other clubs want the same things - it's out of my hands."
After they beat England at Upton Park last year there was much talk of setting up base in England to ease the burden of travel for European players and Farina says that is an avenue the Australian Footbaal Association are still pursuing, but said his only concern for the moment was getting his nation to the World Cup in Germany.
"I have spoken to Gerard Houllier and David O'Leary in the past and respect what they are trying to do," said Farina. "Unfortunately, interests conflict sometimes. I wish it were different but we all have a job to do."
Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough) Michael Petkovic (Trabzonspor), Stan Lazaridis (Birmingham City), Craig Moore (Rangers), Lucas Neill (Blackburn), Tony Popvic (Crystal Palace), Kevin Muscat (Millwall), Tony Vidmar (Cardiff City), Mile Sterjovski (Lille), Steve Laybutt (Excelsior Mouscron), Ahmad Elrich (Parramatta Power), Simon Colosimo (Parramatta Power), Vince Grella (Empoli), Scott Chipperfield (Basel), Brett Emerton (Blackburn), John Aloisi (Osasuna), Marco Bresciano (Parma), Harry Kewell (Liverpool), Mark Viduka (Leeds), Josip Skoko (Genclerbirligi)