Straight from the stands

Australian Four Four Two - - FOUR FOUR TWO - Kevin Airs

In a sea of trou­bled wa­ters for the sport in Aus­tralia, there are some good things go­ing on to keep us bob­bing along from one cri­sis to the next. Not many though... Thanks again to the in­evitable curse of magazine dead­lines and lead times, we go to press with Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia’s fu­ture still hang­ing in the bal­ance and an in­ter­ven­tion from FIFA look­ing ever more likely, What’s more, threats from Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to pull fund­ing from the Women’s World Cup bid to stron­garm sup­port for FFA could have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences. If there’s one thing FIFA hates, it’s hav­ing its author­ity chal­lenged and gov­ern­ments get­ting in­volved in foot­ball gover­nance. In a worst case sce­nario, FIFA could sus­pend FFA’s FIFA membership, axe our World Cup spot and iso­late our play­ers and leagues glob­ally. That’s the nu­clear apoc­a­lypse of sce­nar­ios though and, like the brinks­man­ship play­ing out for real around North Korea, hope­fully it won’t come to any­thing like that. While the Soc­ceroos are cur­rently rud­der­less since Ange Postecoglou fi­nally con­firmed he was quit­ting (and I still nurse the hope that was some­how linked to the FFA’s cur­rent plight and he will re­turn to the po­si­tion once FIFA send in a nor­mal­i­sa­tion com­mit­tee), we are now at least on our way to Rus­sia (un­less FIFA pull the plug over gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence). The new boss will only have a hand­ful of games to get to grips with the side be­fore the WC kicks off – but that is now some­thing of an Aussie tra­di­tion. In­cred­i­bly, this is the third World Cup out of the last four that we ‘ve had a newly-hired coach. It leaves the door open for a po­ten­tially ex­cit­ing ap­point­ment like Marcelo Bielsa or An­dre Vil­las-Boas, or re­ward home­grown tal­ent like Tony Popovic or Gra­ham Arnold. And mean­while, our Matil­das look like world beat­ers. With Sam Kerr on fire, they are run­ning amok, tak­ing on the best in the world and smash­ing them. About to be ranked num­ber 4 in the world, if they can main­tain this cur­rent form, their tro­phy cabi­net could soon be packed with the Asian Cup, Olympic gold and the World Cup. For real. And if that hap­pens, the shame and dis­grace of our cur­rent cri­sis will soon fade. Hope­fully. What’s that you say? Hope dies last? Hope­fully not... Oh.

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