PROPOSED FIFA-backed changes to the governance structures of Australian soccer will present a major risk to the code if they are implemented, according to Sport Australia.The federal government’s chief agency for sport on Friday released a detailed explanation of why they oppose the recommendations of the Congress Review Working Group (CRWG), describing them as “flawed” and inefficient. Formed by FIFA in a last-ditch attempt to strike a diplomatic solution to Football Federation Australia’s long-running congress war, the CRWG submitted a road map for the future in July that has been warmly endorsed by the global body.The CRWG’s key findings will be voted upon at an extraordinary general meeting of FFA on October 2.If the vote fails, which looks likely, it could force FIFA to intervene and potentially suspend Australia from international competition. FFA chairman Steven Lowy and his board are against the mooted reforms and have a bloc of four state federations – Northern Territory, the ACT, northern NSW and Tasmania – in their corner.Sport Australia, whose CEO Kate Palmer waded into the debate last week, have also outlined their position – stressing their views do not represent “political interference” of the kind which is detested by FIFA.Palmer’s lengthy statement alleges the CRWG went beyond the remit they were given by FIFA and have drawn up plans that threaten to undermine the independence of the FFA board.It claims the formation and election of standing committees would create a “significant administrative burden” on resources and make the FFA board “subservient” to them.Palmer also echoed Lowy’s criticism that the carve-up of votes in the proposed FFA congress expansion would give too much power to A-League clubs and players by giving them the ability to veto board appointments or constitutional change. Whether Sport Australia’s stance will have any influence on the EGM vote remains to be seen.Lobbying is continuing on both sides of the fence, with Lowy and FFA chief executive David Gallop understood to be preparing to make a final pitch to the board of Football Queensland in an attempt to win their support. The 10 A-League clubs, professional players’ union, and the state federations in NSW, Victoria, SA, WA and Queensland are believed to fully support the CRWG’s recommendations.
Tags Australia Australia and New Zealand Australian football news Australian soccer board appointments chief agency chief executive congress expansion constitutional change David Gallop Federal Government final pitch governance changes governance crisis governance structures international ban looms Kate Palmer labels plan long-running congress war Northern Territory Oceania road map state federations Steven Lowy Tasmania Victoria PLC Vince Rugari vote fails
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