Sport FIFA and AFC delegations headed to Australia as leadership crisis drags on

06:12  07 december  2017
06:12  07 december  2017 Source:   msn.com

Warring soccer factions on collision course as claims of government lobbying, pressure mount

  Warring soccer factions on collision course as claims of government lobbying, pressure mount By Friday it is possible that FIFA could be running soccer in this country - and a whole raft of questions over the direction of the game, Australia's bids to host the Women's World Cup, even, in a most extreme scenario, the Socceroos participation at the World Cup in Russia next year could be up for debate. As lobbying intensifies in the run up to an Emergency General Meeting called by the FFA for Thursday, there have been a number of extraordinary claims –  including one that the Victorian government has lobbied Football Federation Victoria to support embattled chairman Steven Lowy in his bitter power struggle to retain his position in the sport.

© Christopher Pearce "This process will enable all Australian stakeholders to work together": Steven Lowy.

FIFA will commence its intervention in Australian football early next year, but the world football's governing body has given a stay of execution for Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy by not recommending to disband the FFA board following the failed expansion of the organisation's congress.

FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation will travel to Sydney early next year to oversee and mediate a final round of talks hoping to end the bitter impasse of Australian football politics.

FIFA advisers warn gay fans of 'dangers' at Russia World Cup

  FIFA advisers warn gay fans of 'dangers' at Russia World Cup The World Cup draw takes place on Friday, and the FARE network said it would produce a guide spelling out the threats to be prepared for in Russia.Homosexuality was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment remains strong and intensified after a law was introduced in 2013 prohibiting dissemination to minors of "propaganda" legitimising homosexuality.

After failing to meet a November 30 deadline to reach a consensus for a new expanded and more representative congress, the FFA board was facing removal at the hands of FIFA to be replaced by a normalisation committee that would temporarily govern Australian football.

While that remains a possible outcome, FIFA have opted for a soft intervention allowing FFA and Lowy wa final chance to survive the congress dispute. It's likely a delegation from FIFA and the AFC will take leadership of the working group with the aim to reach a consensus among all stakeholders for a new inclusive and representative membership tier of the FFA that satisfies the requirements of FIFA.

"FIFA's ruling gives all of us a chance to take a fresh look at how the Congress can best represent the Australian football community, with the direct involvement of FIFA and AFC officials in that process," Lowy said."In a wider sense, this process will enable all Australian stakeholders to work together on a shared vision for our game at every level."

FFA Congress AGM could see FIFA sack board as Socceroos' World Cup place comes into focus

  FFA Congress AGM could see FIFA sack board as Socceroos' World Cup place comes into focus The crisis engulfing Australian football could see a doomsday scenario of the Socceroos and all Australian national football teams excluded from FIFA-sanctioned tournaments, including the 2018 World Cup. Football Federation Australia's (FFA) extraordinary AGM this evening will see the governing body and member states, A-League club representatives and the players' union attempt to fix the divide between FFA chairman Steven Lowy and those demanding change at boardroom level.

However, he still faces an uncertain future after FIFA and the AFC recommended establishing a Congress Review Working Group that could involve more stakeholders and opponents of the current regime to be included in an expanded congress.

Fairfax Media understands FIFA wrote to Australian stakeholders this week and indicated their willingness to involve an organisation representing the semi-professional and former National Soccer League teams as part of the working group. The Association of Australian Football Clubs are set to be invited by FIFA to the talks for a new congress for the first time, joining the nine state member federations, the A-League clubs and the Australian players' union (The PFA) in the talks.

Stakeholders will fund Women's WC bid: NSW .
Football NSW chairman Anter Isaac has pledged Australian stakeholders will dip into their own pockets if needed to make the 2023 Women's World Cup bid happen.Speaking on Monday night -- hours before FIFA's member associations committee was due to meet on the status of Football Federation Australia -- Isaac revealed he took time last week to explain to the NSW government the acrimonious fallout that could see the world governing body in charge of Australian soccer by the end of the week.

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