Fifa bid to defuse power strug­gle

The Citizen (KZN) - - INTERNACIONAL - Mel­bourne

– Fifa has de­clined to take over the gov­er­nance of Aus­tralian football and will in­stead work with the coun­try’s em­bat­tled fed­er­a­tion to end a long-run­ning power strug­gle.

Football Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia failed to pass gov­er­nance re­forms by a Fifa dead­line last week, paving the way for football’s world gov­ern­ing body to in­stall a “nor­mal­i­sa­tion com­mit­tee” to run the lo­cal game.

But the FFA said yes­ter­day it would form a work­ing group with Fifa and the Asian Football Con­fed­er­a­tion in a bid to break a dead­lock over the re­form of the fed­er­a­tion’s Congress, which elects mem­bers to the ex­ec­u­tive board.

“Fifa’s Mem­bers As­so­ci­a­tion Com­mit­tee made the de­ci­sion to sup­port the es­tab­lish­ment of the work­ing group at its re­cent meet­ing in Zurich where FFA’s ef­forts to ex­pand its rep­re­sen­ta­tive Congress were dis­cussed,” the FFA said in a state­ment.

“Of­fi­cials from Fifa and the AFC will travel to Aus­tralia in the New Year to work with FFA and other stake­hold­ers to agree terms of ref­er­ence for the group in­clud­ing ob­jec­tives, com­po­si­tion, man­date and time­line.”

Fifa had de­manded Aus­tralia re­form its Congress to make it more demo­cratic but a pro­posal brought by FFA chair­man Steven Lowy failed to pass at its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last week.

“Fifa’s rul­ing gives all of us a chance to take a fresh look at how the Congress can best rep­re­sent the Aus­tralian football com­mu­nity, with the di­rect in­volve­ment of Fifa and AFC of­fi­cials in that process,” he said.

The FFA have been at log­ger­heads with clubs over the make-up of its 10-mem­ber Congress. –

Pic­ture: Getty Images

JO­HANN BERG GUD­MUNDS­SON

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