Football Federation Australia
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the governing body of soccer, indoor soccer and Beach Soccer within Australia. The FFA is headquartered in Sydney. Although the first governing body of the sport was founded in 1911, FFA in its current form was only established in 1963 (as the Australian Soccer Federation), later reconstituted in 2003 (as the Australian Soccer Association), and then renamed Football Federation Australia in 2004.
FFA oversees the men's, women's, youth, Paralympic, beach and futsal national teams in Australia, the national coaching programmes and the state governing bodies for the sport. It sanctions professional, semi-professional and amateur soccer in Australia. FFA made the decision to leave the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), for which it was a founding member, and become a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on 1 January 2006.
FFA's origins lie as far back as 1911, with the formation of the Commonwealth Football Association. This body was then superseded by the Australian Soccer Football Association, which was formed in 1921, with its headquarters in Sydney. The Australian Soccer Football Association operated for forty years, joining FIFA as provisional member in 1956, however in 1960, the association disbanded after being suspended from FIFA for the poaching of players from overseas. In 1961 the Australian Soccer Federation was formed as a potential successor to the former governing body for the sport. However, this association was refused re-admittance to FIFA until outstanding fines had been paid, which was later done in 1963, seeing the new national body admitted to FIFA.
Isolated from international soccer, Australia repeatedly applied to join the Asian Football Confederation in 1960, and in 1974 but were denied in all requests. Australia with New Zealand eventually formed the Oceania Football Federation (now Oceania Football Confederation) in 1966. Australia resigned as an OFC member in 1972 to pursue membership with the AFC, but they rejoined in 1978.
In 1995, the Australian Soccer Federation formally changed its name to Soccer Australia.
In 2003, following Australia's failure to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, allegations of fraud and mismanagement were leveled at Soccer Australia by elements within the Australian Press including the ABC. Soccer Australia commissioned an independent inquiry known as the Crawford Report as a result of the Australian Government's threat to withdraw funding to the sport. The Australian Government could not interfere as any political interference would have constituted a breach of FIFA Statutes. The findings of the report were critically analysed by the board of Soccer Australia who believed that the recommendations contained therein were not capable of being implemented. The report recommended, among other things, the reconstitution of the governing body with an interim board headed by prominent businessman Frank Lowy. Some three months after Lowy's appointment Soccer Australia was placed into liquidation and Australia Soccer Association (ASA) was created without encompassing the Crawford Report recommendations and effectively disenfranchising all parties who had an interest in Soccer Australia. The Australian Government provided approximately $15 million to the ASA.
On 1 January 2005 ASA renamed itself to Football Federation Australia (FFA), aligning with the general international usage of the word "football", in preference to "soccer", and to also distance itself from the failings of the old Soccer Australia. It coined the phrase "old soccer, new football" to emphasise this.
On 1 January 2006, Football Federation Australia moved from the OFC to the 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. FFA hoped that the move would give Australia a fairer chance of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup and allow A-League clubs to compete in the AFC Champions League, thereby improving the standard of Australian football at both international and club levels with improved competition in the region.
In February 2008, FFA formally announced their intention to bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. In 2010, the decision was made by FFA to withdraw its World Cup bid for 2018, instead focusing on a bid for the 2022 tournament. FFA failed in its $45.6 million bid for the 2022 World Cup having received only one vote from the FIFA Executive.
On 29 January 2015, after the defeat of Iraq and the United Arab Emirates during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, West Asian Football Federation members reportedly sought to remove Australia from the AFC primarily due to "Australia benefiting hugely from Asian involvement without giving much in return".
The FFA has nine Federation Members within Australia which as constituent members oversee all aspects of the sport within their respective region, the Members are:
- Capital Football (Australian Capital Territory)
- Northern NSW Football (Northern New South Wales)
- Football NSW (Southern New South Wales)
- Football Federation Northern Territory (Northern Territory)
- Football Queensland (Queensland)
- Football Federation South Australia (South Australia)
- Football Federation Tasmania (Tasmania)
- Football Federation Victoria (Victoria)
- Football West (Western Australia)
Board of directors
|Deputy Chairman||Brian Schwartz|
- David Gallop - Chief Executive Officer
- John Kelly - Chief Operating Officer
- Han Berger - National Technical Director
- Damien de Bohun - Head of Hyundai A-League
- Luke Casserly - Head of National Performance
- Emma Highwood - Head of Community Football
- Kyle Patterson - Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications
- Jo Setright - Head of Legal & Business Affairs and Integrity
- David Tucker - Head of Commercial Operations
FFA organises several national competitions, with state-based competitions organised by the respective state governing football federations.
- FFA Cup
- National Premier Leagues
- National Youth League
- FFA State Institute Challenge
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