FFA has avoided the threat of a FIFA normalisation committee with a “Congress Review Working Group” set to be created in order to break the game’s crippling deadlock.
FIFA’s member associations committee (MAC) opted not to overthrow FFA at a meeting in Zurich.
The move comes after FIFA had threatened to remove the current FFA board, including chairman Steven Lowy, to resolve the saga.
Instead Lowy will survive, even after FFA’s last-ditch proposal for congress reform was rejected at the 30 November annual general meeting by the game’s current 10 voters.
Representing the 10 A-League clubs, who voted down the 9-4-1-1 proposal, Greg Griffin said FFA had “lost the dressing room” last week.
But now “all relevant Australia stakeholders” will again have to work together, and the group will be backed by FIFA and AFC staffers.
“FFA will establish a Congress Review Working Group including all relevant Australia stakeholders with direct support from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC),” an FFA statement read.
Work on a new congress is set to begin in the new year.
“Officials from FIFA and the AFC will travel to Australia in the New Year to work with FFA and other stakeholders to agree terms of reference for the group including objectives, composition, mandate and timeline,” the statement continued.
“FIFA’s Members Association Committee made the decision to support the establishment of the working group at its recent meeting in Zurich where FFA’s efforts to expand its representative congress were discussed.”
Lowy said the news would provide the chance at a “fresh look” from stakeholders.
“FIFA’s ruling gives all of us a chance to take a fresh look at how the congress can best represent the Australian football community, with the direct involvement of FIFA and AFC officials in that process,” he said.
“In a wider sense, this process will enable all Australian stakeholders to work together on a shared vision for our game at every level.”
The A-League clubs as well as the PFA have been pushing for a 9-5-1-1 reform model. Football Federation Victoria and Football New South Wales joined the clubs in voting FFA’s proposal down.