Infotainment Factory: FIFA gives FFA, Lowy one last warning

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Monday, 1 October 2018

FIFA gives FFA, Lowy one last warning


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FIFA is poised to bring a hammer blow to Australian football if warring tribes cannot agree on a new power structure for the game in showdown meetings in Sydney today.

The governance war, which has raged behind closed doors for over two years, could come to an end today if Football Federation Australia's state federations agree on a new power-sharing model.

It could also mean the end of Steven Lowy's tenure, and the Lowy family's 15-year reign at FFA.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has delivered a letter to Lowy overnight, which states FIFA "clearly anticipates that the proposed changes to the FFA Constitutions will be adopted at tomorrow's EGM".

Those changes are essentially to grow the number of seats at the top table of FFA, to allow more voices and decision-makers.

They've been the result of months of talks and an independently-brokered working group.

A-League clubs, responsible for over half the game's revenue, want more say in how the game is run, and the ability to run an independent league.

Players - as represented by Professional Footballers Australia - also want more involvement.

The meetings, which will take place at FFA headquarters, will hinge on four 'minnow federations' of ACT, NT, Tasmania and Northern NSW, who are the swing voters.

They have been lobbied by Lowy to resist the reforms, despite the looming threat of FIFA intervention.

If the reforms are blocked, FIFA could sack the FFA board and replace them with a normalisation committee, or opt for the "nuclear option" of suspending the country's membership - which could have disastrous outcomes for the Socceroos and Matildas.

In a situation of last resort, Australia's international sides could be replaced in the draws for the upcoming Asian Cup and Women's World Cup.

FIFA is poised to bring a hammer blow to Australian football if warring tribes cannot agree on a new power structure for the game in showdown meetings in Sydney today.

The governance war, which has raged behind closed doors for over two years, could come to an end today if Football Federation Australia's state federations agree on a new power-sharing model.

It could also mean the end of Steven Lowy's tenure, and the Lowy family's 15-year reign at FFA.

FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura has delivered a letter to Lowy overnight, which states FIFA "clearly anticipates that the proposed changes to the FFA Constitutions will be adopted at tomorrow's EGM".

Those changes are essentially to grow the number of seats at the top table of FFA, to allow more voices and decision-makers.

They've been the result of months of talks and an independently-brokered working group.

A-League clubs, responsible for over half the game's revenue, want more say in how the game is run, and the ability to run an independent league.

Players - as represented by Professional Footballers Australia - also want more involvement.

The meetings, which will take place at FFA headquarters, will hinge on four 'minnow federations' of ACT, NT, Tasmania and Northern NSW, who are the swing voters.

They have been lobbied by Lowy to resist the reforms, despite the looming threat of FIFA intervention.

If the reforms are blocked, FIFA could sack the FFA board and replace them with a normalisation committee, or opt for the "nuclear option" of suspending the country's membership - which could have disastrous outcomes for the Socceroos and Matildas.

In a situation of last resort, Australia's international sides could be replaced in the draws for the upcoming Asian Cup and Women's World Cup.

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