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Ongoing governance dispute sees FIFA threaten to take over running of Football Federation Australia
World football governing body FIFA has given Football Federation Australia (FFA) a deadline of 30th November to resolve the ongoing impasse concerning the formation of their Congress or risk having its management taken over.
FFA Chairman Steven Lowy confirmed FIFA had threatened to step in by establishing a Normalisation Committee if "an acceptable expansion of the Congress was not in place" by the deadline.
A delegation from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation is due to travel to Australia later this month in a bid to bring the conflict between A-League clubs and the FFA to an end.
The dispute surrounds the potential expansion of the Congress, the FFA's ruling body which currently has 10 members – currently comprised of one representative from each of the nine state-based member federations and an A-League representative who is nominated by a majority of the clubs.
The FFA and the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association, who represent A-League clubs, are at loggerheads over how the Congress should grow.
According to the FFA, all stakeholders agree it should be expanded to include more members.
In a statement, the FFA advised that “the 10 current Congress members, who are the only stakeholders entitled to a vote to change its membership, are divided over the make-up of a new Congress.”
In line with governance structures in other nations, FIFA are understood to want to see representation from a greater depth of stakeholders, such as those from women's football and futsal.
Clubs from the A-League want an increased say in home the game is run in the country.
FFA has already rejected a proposal from the A-League clubs, which would see them given three seats on the Congress instead of their current one.
80% of the FFA voting members agreed with the plan, but it was rejected by the clubs and Football NSW.
While FFA has repeatedly stalled the reform process during the course of the year a new body, the Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) - representing more than 100 National Premier League clubs from around Australia - is push for a restructure of the A-League and the introduction of a national second division competition.
The row remains an embarrassment for football in Australia, particularly considering the country recently announced plans to launch a bid for the 2023 Women's World Cup.
Image: The 2016/17 A-League season launch (top) and Football NSW National Premier League 2017 season action (below).
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13th June 2017 - AUSTRALIA TO BID FOR FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2023
3rd June 2017 - FFA AGREES NEW TV DEAL WITH FOX SPORTS AND NETWORK 10
3rd May 2017 - A-LEAGUE CLUBS REJECT ‘INADEQUATE’ FFA FUNDING OFFER
20th April 2017 - FFA LOOKS TO CLOSE AIS-BASED CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
10th February 2017 - MELBOURNE VICTORY CHAIRMAN WARNS FFA OVER FUNDING AND DECISION-MAKING
3rd February 2017 - FFA REFORM PROMISE APPEASES A-LEAGUE CLUBS
30th January 2017 - A-LEAGUE CLUB OWNERS UNHAPPY AT FFA’S VISIT TO FIFA
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