Sat, Aug 12, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Australian soccer governance talks end in deadlock

Reuters, SYDNEY

Talks on establishing a new governance model for Australian soccer have ended in a stalemate despite the presence of a FIFA “mission” to help break the impasse before November’s deadline.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) are under orders from FIFA to widen representation in the Congress before the end of November or risk being replaced by a “normalization committee” appointed by the global governing body.

At the heart of the dispute is the extent of representation in the Congress of the clubs from the professional A-League, which have just one of 10 votes, and the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) union, who are unrepresented.

The Congress elects members of the executive FFA board.

However, two days of intensive talks in Sydney attended by officials from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation failed to deliver a resolution.

Australia Professional Football Clubs Association chairman Greg Griffin placed 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,” Griffin told local media. “We are equally disappointed at the obstruction of the process by the FFA board.”

The other nine votes in Congress go to representatives of states and territories and, while there is apparent agreement that the PFA should have a vote, the sticking point is how many the teams get.

An FFA proposal for an “interim” Congress giving the 10 A-League teams two extra votes was rejected by FIFA last month and talks this week focused on a proposal that would give them five in total.

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