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Sport Steven Lowy set to avoid removal by FIFA after FFA congress consensus reached

10:08  13 september  2017
10:08  13 september  2017 Source:   theage.com.au

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Uncertain future: FFA chairman Steven Lowy . Photo: Christopher Pearce. That coincided with allegations of interference from Lowy after consensus was reached twice before breaking down..

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Uncertain future: FFA chairman Steven Lowy.© Christopher Pearce Uncertain future: FFA chairman Steven Lowy. The Football Federation Australia board looks set to be spared the embarrassment of being overthrown by FIFA after consensus for a new FFA congress was reached late on Tuesday night.

The bitter civil war that's engulfed Australian football for the past year is one step closer to ending after the nine state football federations are understood to have reached a majority agreement for a new membership structure of the FFA.

After being told by FIFA to expand its congress from 10 votes (nine for the states and one for the A-League clubs) to become sufficiently democratic and inclusive of the game, the FFA is set to inform Zurich that its members have reached a consensus for a 15-seat congress with nine votes for the states, four for A-League clubs, one for the PFA and one for women's football (9-4-1-1).

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FFA chairman Steven Lowy and his board will be removed by FIFA if agreement on a new voting structure is not reached by November 30.Source:AAP. Lowy , who was not present at the meeting, had set a deadline of today (Friday) for the stakeholders to agree in a letter sent last Monday.

FFA CEO David Gallop (L) and Chairman Steven Lowy Source: AAP. "The position of the state federations represents one third of the stakeholders that FIFA and AFC have required to reach consensus ," Griffin told AAP.

Should it be approved by FIFA, it will likelyend their involvement in Australian football's governance, having previously threatened to remove chairman Steven Lowy and replace his board with a Normalising Committee had a new FFA congress not been approved and in place by November 30.

The prospect of a FIFA takeover increased last month after a three-person delegation from world football's governing body oversaw two days of lengthy talks but failed to deliver an agreement across all parties. That coincided with allegations of interference from Lowy after consensus was reached twice before breaking down.

However, for the first time throughout the Congress saga, all nine state member federations are understood to have settled on a voting composition that meets FIFA's criteria for a congress that is more democratic, representative and inclusive of stakeholders in Australian football. Previously, seven of the states supported the FFA's proposal of a small increase in members while the two biggest state federations, Football NSW and Football Victoria fought for a larger, more democratic congress.

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FFA chairman Steven Lowy has avoided the sack and a FIFA takeover of the local game after the world governing body agreed to lead bitterly divided stakeholders through more negotiations.

Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy has avoided the sack. Australia's warring factions had been waiting nervously after last week's deadline-day failure to achieve consensus on an expanded congress left the future of the game in Fifa 's hands.

Should the new FFA Congress be approved it means Lowy won't be removed by FIFA. However, the FFA chairman faces an uncertain future with more adversaries taking-up voting roles at the Congress, giving them power to elect and remove board members.

Fairfax Media understands the 9-4-1-1 model agreed by the states was not approved by the A-League clubs who currently have one vote, nor the the Australian footballers' players union, the PFA. This could present a stumbling block as FIFA's preference has been for consensus among all stakeholder groups.

However, they may likely have to settle for the model as more than 75 per cent of the voting bloc of the current Congress has approved the new format.

It is not yet known how the one vote for women's football will be allocated with previous calls for that to be administered by the PFA who represent Matildas and W-League players. However, there has also been a movement for the only standalone W-League club - Canberra United to take up that seat, despite having close ties to the FFA and governed by an existing voting member, Capital Football.

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