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No consensus in soccer civil war as clubs reject FFA congress model

Soccer

Soccer's civil war is no closer to resolution despite the nine state federations coming to an agreement on how Football Federation Australia's congress should be structured.

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It’s understood the majority of the state federations have endorsed a 15-seat congress model – one that could potentially save FFA chairman Steven Lowy and his board from being disbanded by FIFA and replaced by a normalisation committee.

The 9-4-1-1 proposal would see the states retain nine votes with four for the A-League clubs, one for the PFA and one for women’s football.

That model, however, has been suggested previously and was swiftly rejected by the A-League clubs and the PFA, who believe it does nothing to change the balance of power and are angling for at least one extra vote.

It’s also understood some state federations won’t agree to an extraordinary general meeting of FFA to bring about congress change until total consensus is struck.

Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin – who also heads the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association – reiterated his opposition.

“The position of the state federations represents one third of the stakeholders that FIFA and AFC have required to reach consensus,” Griffin said yesterday.

“The clubs and the PFA do not accept the 9-4-1-1 congress vote that the federations are putting forward, which is designed to ensure that they remain in control of the electoral process for board positions on the FFA.

“All we have here is the federations, which already have a completely unreasonable amount of control of the congress, putting a proposal that maintains that position which offends FIFA statutes.

“If that proposal is put forward by Mr Lowy at an EGM of the FFA, then it will breach the directions of FIFA and AFC and inevitably lead to the appointment of a normalisation committee.”

There are only 10 seats in the current FFA congress – nine for the state federations and one for the A-League clubs.

FIFA believes that structure is undemocratic and has told FFA to reform the congress before November 30 or it will intervene.

A visiting FIFA/AFC delegation failed to solve the issue last month at an ugly and chaotic meeting of all stakeholders in Sydney and later said it was up to the state federations, clubs and PFA to find consensus together.

Meanwhile, FFA is still at risk from court action from the A-League clubs, who are demanding to see the sport’s full financial records – including those relating to Australia’s failed bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

It’s believed FFA has proposed only a partial disclosure of their finances, an offer that was turned down in a letter written by Griffin on behalf of the clubs this week.

-AAP

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