August 11 – The entire future of the game in Australia hangs in the balance after talks on establishing a new governance model broke down despite a FIFA delegation flying Down Under to try and sort out the impasse.
At the heart of the dispute is how much representation the clubs from the professional A-League should have in the format of the FFA’s 10-member Congress.
FIFA have given the federation until the end of November to get its house in order or risk being replaced by a normalisation committee but two days of intensive talks in Sydney attended by officials from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation failed to deliver a resolution.
“A wide range of options has been robustly discussed over the past 48 hours,” FFA Chairman Steven Lowy said in a statement.
“Everyone, including the FFA Board, A-League club owners, Member Federations and the PFA have shown willingness to move from their original positions and this has been noted by the FIFA/AFC delegation.
“FFA is hopeful that an agreement can be reached to enable the necessary procedural changes to achieve an expanded Congress by the end of November.”
The FFA have proposed a 13-member Congress, offering two additional votes to the clubs and one for the players, but this has been rejected by the clubs who say they generate 80% of revenues for football in Australia.
The chairman of the Australia Professional Football Clubs Association laid the blame for the failure of the talks squarely at the door of the FFA.
“We are bitterly disappointed at not having reached consensus with our fellow stakeholders,” Greg Griffin told local media. “We are equally disappointed at the obstruction of the process by the FFA board.”
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