Hibernian star Martin Boyle faces being forced to choose between club and country early next year after the changes to the Premiership left the Australian international faced with a clash between the Socceroos World Cup qualifier with Oman and facing Hearts in the rescheduled Edinburgh Derby.
The moved winter break sees the Capital clubs go head to head on February 1 – the same day Graham Arnold’s side face Oman in a vital World Cup qualifier.
Boyle was already aware he’d potentially miss games against Livingston and Motherwell and admits talks will likely take place over the coming weeks to sort out what happens.
“I was aware of missing the Livingston and Motherwell games, but the fixtures have been changed and it’s not been ideal,” said Boyle [Scotsman].
“I’ll need to sit down with the nation and Hibs and see what the best way forward is. It’s all up in the air at the moment – I’ll just need to focus on the next game and see what comes.
“I’ve not been in this position before. I presume it might be in my hands, but if the club want me here to play, then there will be conversations.”
Things become slightly muddied by the fixtures taking place outside one of FIFA’s allocated international windows, raising the possibility that Hibs may be able to keep Boyle in Edinburgh without much trouble.
However, if the Hibees star wants to represent his country – and coming so close to the World Cup finals, it would be a big gamble to opt-out of the games versus Vietnam and Oman early in 2022 – then they may be left with little option but to go into three massive games without one of the key players in Shaun Maloney’s side.
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