Australian Soccer Liberated Under Threat of FIFA Sanctions

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Independence and sovereignty were under a cloud, as an uncivil civil war between the forces of the Lowy family resisted reforms that threatened their 15-year domination of Australian football and Football Federation Australia have come to an agreement over the direction of the code in the land down under.

Those who wanted to see Steven Lowy and his kin hold less sway over soccer in Australia are claiming victory.

A meeting in Sydney resulted in the acceptance of constitutional changes after state federations a one representative from the A-League voted by an 8 – 2 margin to expand the size of the FFA Congress.

The expectation at present is that Lowy will abdicate the chair of the FFA and new rulers will be elected as directors in an expanded system that will see the concentration of power spread over a larger body of directors.

The threat of FIFA intervention seemed to be the impetus for the new agreement, which passed by a narrow margin of one vote.

FIFA did not use the customary diplomatic vagueness in bluntly telling FFA that the FFA’s small congress did not pass muster.

Fatma Samoura, FIFA secretary general, wrote to Lowy, informing him that FIFA, “Clearly anticipates that the proposed changes to the FFA Constitutions will be adopted at tomorrow’s EGM”.

The players for the Socceroos and Matildas probably breathed a collective sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that they could take part in upcoming tournaments without the anxiety of potential suspension looming over them.

It is not certain when the new FFA Congress will meet to elect new directors, but it could be as soon as next month.

Possible ramifications include the A-League getting out from under FFA control, possibly as soon as next season and instead of being run by the Lowy hierarchy, could come under the auspices of an independent committee.

It remains to be seen if the new regime proceeds or chooses to delay the proposed addition of two new teams to the A-League competition.

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