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FIFA agrees Working Group’s recommended FFA governance reforms
Major change in the management of football in Australia appears to be approaching after world football governing body FIFA rubber-stamped proposed governance reforms from its Congress Review Working Group (CRWG).
As expected, FIFA have endorsed the recommendations of the eight-member CRWG, which it formed to achieve a diplomatic solution to the long-running dispute over management of the game.
However, to proceed they need to be adopted at a special general meeting of the board of Football Federation Australia (FFA) next month.
However, have battled against any significant dilution of its control of the game, then having repeatedly slowed down the process, the FFA and key board members appears unlikely to agree to the changes.
Amid considerable behind-the-scenes lobbying, by those for and against the changes, FFA Chairman Stephen Lowy has said he will step down from his role in November.
Lowy and his board are strongly opposed to the changes on the grounds they will give too much power to the professional game, arguing their plan for a "conciliatory approach" was needed to strike a "sufficient consensus".
Along with four state federations - Tasmania, Northern NSW, the ACT and Northern Territory – Lowy is looking to block the vote.
Eight votes from the current 10-member FFA congress will be required to implement the CRWG's reforms.
However, in a letter to Lowy and other key stakeholders as of yesterday, FIFA Secretary-General Fatima Samoura said the changes were "fully in line" with FIFA statutes and directed that they be adopted by FFA at the upcoming special general meeting.
Failure to implement the changes could see FIFA suspend the FFA and create a ‘Normalisation Committee’, to run the game.
Four other football associations, out of FIFA’s 212 members, have recent or current experience of a normalisation committee: Argentina, Cameroon, Greece and Guinea.
Appointment of a normalisation committee could also put Australia's defence of the Asian Cup at risk and affect the nation’s bid to host the 2023 Women's World Cup.
17th August 2018 - Steven Lowy set to quit FFA Chairman’s role
14th August 2018 - FIFA-backed congress group dismisses FFA’s reform concerns
1st August 2018 - FFA looks to block working group’s governance changes
4th April 2018 - Independent chairperson to lead FFA reform
21st February 2018 - A-League clubs warn of competition collapse
7th December 2017 - FFA Board avoids dismissal as FIFA agrees to lead stakeholder negotiations
3rd February 2017 - FFA reform promise appeases A-League clubs
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