August 7 – Four months after stepping into a festering internal dispute among Australia’s football stakeholders, a FIFA working group has come up with a proposed solution to the impasse.
A-League clubs, the national federation and the players’ union have been at loggerheads over how football in Australia should be run and in April, FIFA set up a Congress Review Working Group.
In its report just released, it is proposed that the A-League be spun off from the federation and run independently in time for the 2019-20 season.
The CRWG has also proposed for the FFA congress to grow from 10 to 29 members — the nine state federations, nine Australian A-League clubs, Professional Footballers Australia plus a new women’s council.
Reports in Australia say the idea will be rubber-stamped at a meeting of FIFA’s member associations committee on August 20 and then put to a vote at a Football Federation Australia extraordinary general meeting in mid-September.
The plan needs 75% approval to pass and if it fails, FIFA could suspend Australia’s membership – potentially putting the Socceroos’ defence of their Asian Cup crown at risk.
“This report and its recommendations represent an opportunity for a new era of collaboration, transparency and democracy for Australian football,” Greg Griffin, chief executive of the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association, said.
“They are borne from a process of unprecedented cooperation and engagement between the diverse stakeholders of our game – interactions that should be given every chance of becoming the cornerstone of a brighter future for the entire game.”
But FFA chairman Steven Lowe (pictured) said while there were “many elements” of the report which were a positive step forward, the governing body still had deep reservations.
“… There are also some crucial aspects of the report which the FFA Board does not believe are in the best interests of the game and are inconsistent with its guiding principles submitted at the beginning of the process,” Lowy said.
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