A joint delegation of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and FIFA representatives have delayed their visit to Australia to wade into the ongoing crisis rocking the Australian Football Federation (FFA) till next month (August).
This is part of FIFA’s plans to end the rift between divided stakeholders and give birth to a more democratic congress with the November 30 deadline handed out to the FFA to sort out its house not too far away.
The delegation had initially been scheduled to arrive in Australia late July but that has now been shelved in favour of an August visit from the AFC and FIFA representatives.
Failure by the FFA to have a more democratic congress in place by the November 30 deadline will lead to stiff sanctions from FIFA. The sanctions include the disbandment of the FFA board and the removal of its chairman Steve Lowry.
Speaking with AAP earlier on Monday, FFA chief executive David Gallop confirmed that the body is working towards a resolution to the ongoing crisis. In his words, he said: “We’re working to get a resolution that means we don’t get to that stage.”
“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.” he further stated.
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.
FIFA’s decision made earlier this month to wade into the crisis is a big blow to Chairman Steve Lowry and his underfire board, and it’s coming in the back of the world’s football governing body’s total rejection of its planned new congress model as unrepresentative.
After a long running battle that lasted for months, FFA told the world body that an agreement from over 75% of members had been reached for the 1st stage of an expanded congress.
That 9-3-1 model include nine state member federations, two seats for the A-league clubs and one both the W-League, and the players’ union, the Professional Footballer’s Australia (PFA) though this is still some way off what the A-League clubs, PFA and the largest state member federation, Football NSW, want. They are adamant that the FFA should adopt a 9-5-1 model.
With trust at an all time low at the moment, the 10 A-League clubs continue to request for what they believe is their share of revenue entitlements as well as a greater say in the future of the game in Australia.
“It would certainly be good to get things resolved,” Gallop said while speaking further on the current situation.
“There’s a level of frustration from most stakeholders.” he concluded.