Former Malaysian national coach, Claude Le Roy (picture) said, AFC must realise that to build a competition so important as the Asian Cup, the teams should have their full teams and this has got to do with proper match schedules.
"Whether the AFC is happy or unhappy is not my problem, but they don't respect themselves," said Le Roy who now coaches the Oman national team, in an interview with The Australian, before his team played Australia in an Asian Cup qualification match at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Wednesday.
It is Oman's fate, he noted, to play the Socceroos at full strength twice in the qualification phase, Sunday, and in Muscat next month, where the other teams in group B, Indonesia and Kuwait, do not face a first-choice Australia at all.
Somehow, the two dates in the campaign recognised by FIFA, draw Oman and Australia together on each occasion, with a virtual A-League squad left to play the four other qualifiers when Australia's elite foreign-based players are not released by their clubs.
This works for and against Australia. The second-choice Socceroos could do no more than come away from Indonesia with a scoreless draw and a 1-0 loss to Kuwait in Canberra this year, which is why the highest-ranked team in Asia sits at the bottom of its group.
And yet, over the course of next month, the system will quite clearly make life more difficult for Oman than it has been for either Indonesia or Kuwait because of the scheduling inconsistencies.
Only one of the Australian players selected for Sunday's s match - central defender Craig Moore - was on the pitch against Kuwait. "You have to explain to me how it is possible to play against a team and not one of the players was in the game against Indonesia or Kuwait," Le Roy said.
"I cannot understand how it is possible and we are very, very unlucky because the only two games that are also FIFA dates are our two games against Australia.
"I think that we need 10 points to qualify. I think that will be enough. Which means we have to win two games in the next four, which won't be easy, especially with two games against Australia."
Le Roy suggested AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam look to Africa for a solution, where World Cup and continental qualification matches are played at the same time. This is an idea Australia coach Pim Verbeek might rush to endorse given that it would give him access to his best players far more often.
Still, for now, Verbeek can take comfort from the fact Le Roy's misfortune is his blessing, one he expects to translate into a commanding performance tonight.
He was unequivocal about taking all three points, even without the injured Vince Grella, who is likely to be replaced by Carl Valeri, and against a team that this year defeated Asian champion Iraq 4-0 on its way to winning the Gulf Cup.
Update: Australia won 1-0.