Football Federation Australia
National football association
Founded = 1961
FIFA affiliation = 1963
Region = AFC
Region affiliation = 2006
President = Frank Lowy AC
Website = [http://www.footballaustralia.com.au www.footballaustralia.com.au]
Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the governing body for the sport of football (soccer) in
Australia. Before 1 January 2005, it was known as the Australian Soccer Association (ASA), which succeeded Soccer Australia in this role in 2003.
Among other duties, the FFA oversees Australia's national football teams (including the Socceroos (men), the Matildas (women), and 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. Ben Buckleyis currently the CEO of the FFA and Frank Lowyis the chairman. [ [http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/default.aspx?s=insideffa_newsfeatures_newsitem&id=10436 Ben Buckley appointed as new FFA CEO] Football Federation Australia 8 November 2006]
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. 1963 saw the re-admittance of Australia to FIFA after the fines were reduced and paid.
Australia first applied to join the
Asian Football Confederationin 1964 but were denied, eventually forming the Oceania Football Federation with New Zealandin 1966.
Following the collapse of the previous governing body, Soccer Australia, the
Australian governmentcommissioned 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 Commissionthreatened to withdraw funding to Soccer Australia unless it implemented the measures outline by the Crawford committee. The board then resigned en-masse. [Cite web |url=http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/stories/s736919.htm |title=Disquiet as Soccer Australia trio resign |publisher=Australian Broacasting Corporation |work=The World Today |date=2002-11-28]
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.
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 FIFAExecutive 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. [Cite web |url= http://www.the-afc.com/english/media/default.asp?mnsection=media§ion=newsDetails&newsID=3945 |title=Put Asian football first: Bin Hammam |publisher=AFC Asian Football Confederation |date=2005-09-11] 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 Leaguefor the A-Leagueclubs.
Also, with many of the top sides in the AFC based in the middle east, it is more likely that Australian teams may include their top Europe-based players when playing away games in
Beirutor Riyadhthan, for example, Tahitior Auckland, for two main reasons, the first is the distance and time taken is shorter than if travelling all the way to Australia, and playing Asian federation teams is much more attractive, as the players involved are invariably professional and playing for larger Asian or European clubs, as opposed to semi-pro players who remain in their own country and often play football as a second job.Fact|date=February 2008 The biggest nation in Oceania apart from Australia is New Zealand, and apart from them, the teams involved are all tiny pacific nations who do not pose any threat against teams picked from players based in Australia. In Asia, the teams picked will require top-level Australian players (based in Europe) to succeed fully at that level. Many Asian clubs such as Japan, Korea and some Middle Eastern clubs have a club competition equal or better in subjective quality than the Australian A-League.
In February 2008, the FFA formally announced their intention to bid for the
2018 FIFA World Cupand the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. [cite news|url=http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23259207-5006068,00.html|title=Lowy's vision for soccer|publisher= Daily Telegraph|date=2008-02-23|accessdate=2008-02-25] [cite news|url=http://www.theage.com.au/news/soccer/world-cup-bid/2008/02/23/1203467459939.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1|title=Let's land the World Cup|date=2008-02-24|accessdate=2008-02-25
tate football federations
FFA is a federation of whom the state federations are constituent members. These include a governing body for each state (
Football Federation Victoria, Capital Football(Australian Capital Territory), Football Federation Northern Territory, Football Queensland, Football Federation of South Australia, Football West(Western Australia) and Football Federation Tasmania), except New South Waleswhich has two: Football NSWin the central and southern parts of the state, and Northern New South Wales Footballin northern New South Wales. Football NSWis by far the largest football association in Australia.
* [http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/ Official website]
* [http://www.soccerinquiry.org.au/index.htm Independent inquiry that led to the ASA's establishment] .
* [http://aussiesoccerstats.com Victoria League Statistics] .
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