FFA get reprieve as FIFA intervention delayed until next month

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    FIFA’s planned intervention into the governance of Australian football has been delayed, with FFA’s November 30 deadline to sort out its affairs creeping closer.

    A joint delegation of FIFA and Asian Football Confederation representatives was set to arrive in Australia in late July to mend the rift between divided stakeholders and end their impasse on a new, more democratic congress demanded by FIFA.

    If the congress is not in place by the November deadline, FIFA will disband the FFA board and remove chairman Steven Lowy.

    “We’re working to get a resolution that means we don’t get to that stage,” FFA chief executive David Gallop told AAP on Monday, adding the delegation was now only likely to arrive in early August.

    “We’re still looking to finalise the date but it’s likely to be in early August.

    “We support FIFA coming and hearing the views of the various stakeholders first hand.

    “We’ve seen some changes in the FIFA administration and the people managing the issue in recent times, so it will be good for the people who are actually dealing with the matter to come to Australia and hear the debate.”

    If the delegation does arrive in early August, it will leave little more than three months before FIFA acts on its threat to implement a normalisation committee to temporarily take over FFA’s affairs.

    The governing body’s decision earlier this month to intercede is an embarrassing blow to Lowy and his beleaguered board, and followed FIFA’s outright rejection of its proposed new congress model as unrepresentative.

    After a protracted stalemate lasting months, FFA informed FIFA it had reached consensus from more than 75 per cent of members for the first stage of an expanded congress.

    That 9-3-1 model is made up of the nine state member federations, two seats for the A-league clubs and one for the W-League, and one for the players’ union, the Professional Footballer’s Australia (PFA).

    FFA still sits poles apart from the A-League clubs, PFA and the largest state member federation, Football NSW, who are standing firm on a 9-5-1 model.

    Trust has all but dissolved in the increasingly bitter stand-off, especially as the 10 A-League clubs continue to seek what they believe is their share of revenue entitlements and a greater say in the game’s future.

    “It would certainly be good to get things resolved,” Gallop said.

    “There’s a level of frustration from most stakeholders.”

    © AAP 2017

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