FIFA intervention looms as FFA postpone EGM

Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy has heeded the calls of the game's major stakeholders and postponed an extraordinary general meeting planned for Wednesday that was aimed at getting approval for his proposed model for a new FFA Congress.

A return to the negotiating table will instead take place with Lowy forced to resume talks in the hope of breaking the impasse that has brought Australian football's governance to a standstill. A decision was made late on Tuesday afternoon to postpone the EGM until November 27 after the FFA board was informed it lacked the required support to gain approval for a controversial model for a new congress.

After news surfaced on Monday that Lowy did not have the numbers to pass his preferred model, the two biggest state member federations, Football NSW and Football Federation Victoria, joined the A-League clubs and the players union, the PFA, in calling for the FFA to postpone the EGM.

Both the state federations issued letters on Monday criticising the FFA's handling of the congress issue, which they suggested would not meet the requirements of a new congress as set out by world football's governing body, FIFA and fell short of satisfying the wishes of FFA's major stakeholders.

The FFA board proposed a 9-4-1-1 model that was understood to have the support of no more than seven state member federations, who comprised seven of the 10 votes at the current congress. Lowy required eight votes to pass the new model under Australian corporate law, but needed consensus among all three stakeholders (state member federations, A-League clubs and the PFA) to have the expanded congress approved by FIFA.

Lowy will now have less than a month to find a resolution before Australian football could come under the administration of world football's governing body, who have made clear its threat to remove the FFA board by November 30.

It is understood Lowy called for a private meeting with the state member federations for Tuesday, before the EGM was set to take place on Wednesday. An FFA spokesman confirmed the organisation will resume discussions with its stakeholders for a new expanded congress.

"Following requests received from members of Football Federation Australia's Congress, the FFA board has agreed to postpone the extraordinary general meeting ... to enable further consultation between all stakeholders," an FFA statement read.

"The EGM will be rescheduled for 27 November with formal notice of the meeting and associated papers to be issued to members in the coming days. The board is sending formal notification of the postponement to the members, FIFA and AFC."

The FFA board made the unusual measure in calling for an EGM in absence of support from its stakeholders with the main item on the agenda for the November 1 meeting being its proposition for an expanded membership tier. The decision to do so coincided with allegations of "gerrymandering" from the A-League clubs with Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin referring to the proposed EGM as "a final cynical act" from the FFA board.

FFA have been instructed by FIFA to expand their congress to become more democratic, independent of the board and inclusive of the game's stakeholders. Failure to do so by November 30 will see the FFA board removed by FIFA and replaced by a normalising committee that will temporary administer Australian football.

It's understood FIFA's associations committee will make their determination on the FFA in the first week of December.

This story FIFA intervention looms as FFA postpone EGM first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.