FFA requests extension from FIFA after failing to meet congress deadline

Football Federation will seek an extension from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation to a deadline for restructuring its membership after failing to reach an agreement with stakeholders to expand its congress.

Fairfax Media understands the FFA is set to miss the March 31 deadline to expand its membership tier, opening the door for possible intervention from the governing body of world football, FIFA, which is understood to be unhappy with the stalled developments in .

The FFA is under heavy scrutiny from FIFA to expand its congress – which elects and votes on board members – to become more democratic and representative of the game by including more stakeholders rather than the nine-member state federations who have a vote each and the A-League clubs that collectively hold just one seat.

After failing to receive a 75 per cent majority of the votes required from the existing 10 members to expand the congress on their terms, FIFA could decide to step in and take an active role in the transition and restructure of n football’s governance, not limited to removing the FFA board.

While that measure remains an extreme option, the FFA have risked further damaging their relationship with A-League clubs and two of the biggest state member federations as a result of their inability to expand the congress by FFA’s deadline approved by FIFA and the AFC.

The FFA did not receive the 75 per-cent majority of the votes required from the existing 10 members to expand the congress on their terms after two of the nine state member federations and the A-League clubs blocked their proposal. The two biggest state federations, Football NSW and Football Federation Victoria rejected the FFA’s suggested terms of a 14-member congress, which would have expanded the A-League club’s influence from one seat to three, while giving the n players union (PFA) one seat.

A-League clubs voted against the FFA’s proposal, seeking a larger membership that will also provide them with a representation of about 25 per cent.

There are no meetings between the FFA and relevant stakeholders scheduled for Friday March 31 to finalise the expanded congress, with an FFA spokesman confirming they will not be increasing the membership by the deadline approved by FIFA and the AFC.

The n Professional Football Clubs Association, representing the A-League clubs, suggested they will not be pleased with any delay in the reforms.

“The APFCA expects the FFA to comply with the March 31 deadline agreed with FIFA and the AFC,” the association’s president Greg Griffin said.

Sources suggest A-League clubs would only agree to a deadline extension under the provision the FFA produces a clear and detailed plan for the growth of the game. However, any extension comes with the risk of further straining the already fractured relationship between the clubs and the FFA, who are yet to inform owners of their share of the broadcast deal for next season despite finalising the primary deal in December.

The Associations of n Football Clubs, representing the majority of the semi-professional National Premier League clubs claim the support of FIFA in their request to have one seat at the FFA congress.