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Socceroos legend Mark Schwarzer has spoken out about the “astronomical” cost of playing football at domestic level in Australia.

The former goalkeeper, who now finds himself on the other side of the microphone as Optus Sport’s expert analyst, discussed the matter with Football Australia CEO James Johnson and Sports Minister Anika Wells following Australia’s World Cup loss to France.

“I’m not actually asking this question on behalf of Optus Sport, I’m asking it on my own as a footballer who has played for the national team and Harry (Quell) can probably vouch for that,” he said.

“Growing up, you didn’t need money to play football, it was there, it was an opportunity to play. Now the cost of playing football for the average person in Australia is astronomical.

“I know the government is increasing the funding. I agree it needs to be dealt with, seriously addressed because we need more kids playing football and playing sport in general. We’re way behind other codes… I hear it all the time, the constant talk about the cost complaints.

“So if James also has additional funding, where does it go and go towards reducing costs for the average individual? If not, why not? Because it should.”