Australia's feuding factions sweat on FIFA takeover outcome

Australian football's waring tribes are anxiously awaiting a verdict over the future of the game, after FIFA officials met in Abu Dhabi overnight to discuss the possibility of sacking the FFA board.

It's unclear at this point whether FIFA's Member Associations Committee have decided to recommend the imposition of a normalisation committee to run the game on a interim basis after discussions over one of the problem children of world football went into the evening in the Emirates without an official decision being handed down.

What is clear though is that the feuding factions remain as diametrically opposed as ever - the Steven Lowy-led FFA and seven loyalist State Federations in one corner and the A-League clubs, the PFA and rebel states NSW and Victoria in the other.

One insider concluded there can only be one of two verdicts put before the 'Bureau of the Council' - a seven-person panel headed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino - for a final decision over possible intervention.

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Further mediation over an expanded Congress that represents all stakeholder interests will be one possible outcome from the world body in Zurich.

Or, more likely, the wheels will be set in motion for a normalisation committee, which could take up to six months to pick new candidates for the board from within the Australian community and set dates for new elections.

Infantino and his Council are likely to receive a recommendation from the Member Associations Committee by this evening (AEDT), leaving the combatants in Australia on tenterhooks.

Any hopes of detente between the FFA and the clubs and PFA, have long since evaporated.

The clubs, who are proposing an independently run competition free of tight FFA controls over funding allocations and commercial opportunities, are done with entering into further discussions with an FFA chairman they believe has long since jettisoned the notion of negotiating in "good faith".



However, they will have to abide with whatever FIFA decides.

The feuding comes against a backdrop of diminishing attendances at A-League games and falling TV figures, as the competition stalls from a lack of marketing and direction.

Friday night's TV game between Adelaide United and Sydney FC on FoxSports attracted just 81,000 viewers - the highest figure of Round Nine.

Central Coast's 1-0 win over Perth Glory on Sunday was at the bottom of the heap, with a nationwide total of just 33,000.

The overall figures between rounds eight and nine represented a 24 per cent drop, the most significant weekly fall of the season so far.

Meanwhile walk-up attendances continue to lag, with no single game in Round Nine cracking the 9000 barrier.


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Published 5 December 2017 at 10:49am
By Dave Lewis