Football Federation Australia: Wikis

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Football Federation Australia
AFC
Association crest
Founded 1961
FIFA affiliation 1963
AFC affiliation 2006
Website www.footballaustralia.com.au
President Frank Lowy AC

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the governing body for the sport of association football in Australia. Before 1 January 2005, it was known as the Australian Soccer Association (ASA), which succeeded Soccer Australia in this role in 2003. Ben Buckley is currently the CEO of the FFA and Frank Lowy is the chairman.[1]

Among other duties, the FFA oversees Australia's national football teams (including the Socceroos (men), the Matildas (women), the Olyroos and other various youth teams); national coaching programmes; coordination with the various state and territory governing bodies; and the national club competition. Until 2004 the national competition was the National Soccer League; the FFA launched a new national league in 2005, the A-League.

Contents

History

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A chequered past

The FFA's origins lay as far back as 1921 when the Australian Soccer Association was formed with its headquarters in Sydney. However this association was suspended from FIFA in 1960. In 1961 the Australian Soccer Federation was formed. However, this association was refused re-admittance with FIFA until outstanding fines had been paid. In 1963 Australia was re-admitted to FIFA after the fines were reduced and paid.

Australia first applied to join the Asian Football Confederation in 1964 but were denied, eventually forming the Oceania Football Federation with New Zealand in 1966.

Rebirth

The old Soccer Australia logo, used from 1995–2003

In 2003, following Australia's failure to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, and allegations of fraud and mismangement within Soccer Australia, the Australian government commissioned an independent inquiry known as the Crawford Report. The findings of the report were dismissed by the board of Soccer Australia until the Australian Sports Commission threatened to withdraw funding to Soccer Australia unless it implemented the measures outline by the Crawford committee. The board then resigned en-masse.[2]

This report recommended, among other things, the reconstitution of the body as the Australia Soccer Association (ASA) with an interim board headed by prominent businessman Frank Lowy. The ASA renamed itself in 2005 to align with the general international usage of the word "football", in preference to "soccer", and to also distance itself from the failings of the old National Soccer League and Soccer Australia. It coined the phrase "old soccer, new football" to emphasise this.

Move to AFC

On 1 January 2006, the FFA moved from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), of which it was a founding member, to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The move was unanimously endorsed by the AFC Executive Committee on 23 March 2005, and assented by the OFC in 17 April. The FIFA Executive Committee approved the move on 29 June, noting that "as all of the parties involved ... had agreed to the move, the case did not need to be discussed by the FIFA Congress", and was unanimously ratified by the AFC on 10 September.[3] The FFA hopes that being part of the AFC will improve the standard of Australian football and give the national team a fairer chance of qualifying for World Cups, as well as providing access to the AFC Champions League for the A-League clubs. The experience in being one of the first countries to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, after completing its qualifying rounds unbeaten and conceding only 1 goal [4], seems to confirm the wisdom of this initiative.

The two main reasons for this move were:

  • Improved Competition. The strongest footballing nation in Oceania is now New Zealand, with the other teams involved being tiny Pacific Island nations who do not pose any threat against teams of Australian professionals. This led to Australia holding the world record for most goals in a game in its 31-0 annihilation of American Samoa in 2001 [5]. Many Asian nations such as Japan, Korea and some Middle Eastern clubs have a club competition equal or better in subjective quality than the Australian A-League, and have many other players in the top European leagues [6].
  • Reduced Travel Time. Many of the top sides in the AFC are from the Middle East, which allows European based players a much shorter journey to away games in, say, Beirut or Riyadh than to those in Tahiti or Auckland.

In February 2008, the FFA formally announced their intention to bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.[7][8]

National Level Teams

Below is a list of National level teams controlled by the FFA:

State football federations

FFA is a federation of whom the state federations are constituent members. These include a governing body for each state:

References

External links


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