Suddenly, it seems, SBS TV football presenter and reporter Andrew
Orsatti has become a hero in the story of Australia’s inspirational
World Cup triumph.
Earlier this year, police were called in to investigate claims that
Australian coach Frank Farina had assaulted Orsatti in the players’
tunnel, outside the dressing rooms at Sydney’s Telstra Stadium. The
conspiracy theorists linked the incident to a supposed campaign by
SBS to oust Farina. A few months later, the Football Federation of
Australia’s big kahuna Frank Lowy gave the orders and Farina was gone.
In the jubilation that has hit the streets since the Socceroos’
stunning victory on Wednesday night, some credited Orsatti’s role in
Farina’s eventual departure. Orsatti strongly denies playing any part in Farina’s
ousting, but he admitted to Crikey he’s enthusiastically received by
punters congratulating him for clearing the decks for supercoach Guus
Hiddink to take charge.
“I went down to the Sports Bar at Kings Cross where everyone was
partying, three lads started chanting my name before half the room
joined in,” Orsatti told Crikey. “They hoisted me on to their shoulders
and carried me around the room. All the while, they were telling other
drinkers that ‘this is the bloke who got rid of Farina’.”
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
“I couldn’t believe it but I didn’t object, I was thrilled at what had
happened the night before and this was just another expression of
celebration… It’s a lot different to what was happening earlier this
year. I had people telling me off in public and cursing me,” Orsatti
To Farina’s credit he has graciously backed his successor in numerous media interviews since his ousting.