Football Federation Australia (FFA) is the governing body for the sport of association football in Australia. Before 1 January 2005, it was known as the Australian Soccer Association (ASA), which succeeded Soccer Australia in this role in 2003. Ben Buckley is currently the CEO of the FFA and Frank Lowy is the chairman.
Among other duties, the FFA oversees Australia's national soccer teams (including the Australia national association football team (men), the Australia women's national football (soccer) team (women), the Australia national under-23 football team and other 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 (Australia); the FFA launched a new national league in 2005, the A-League.
A chequered past
The 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 This body was then superseded by the Australian Soccer Association, which was formed in 1921, with its headquarters in Sydney. However this association was suspended from FIFA in 1960 for the poaching of players from overseas. In 1961 the Australian Soccer Federation was formed. However, this association was refused re-admittance with FIFA until outstanding fines had been paid. In 1963 Australia was re-admitted to FIFA after the fines were reduced and paid.
Australia first applied to join the Asian Football Confederation in 1964 but were denied, eventually forming the Oceania Football Confederation with New Zealand in 1966.
Football Federation Australia celebrated their 100th birthday on the 21 December 2011
In 2003, following Australia's failure to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, and allegations of fraud and mismanagement within Soccer Australia, the Australian government commissioned an independent inquiry known as the 2003 Report of the Independent Soccer Review Committee. The findings of the report were dismissed by the board of Soccer Australia until the Australian Sports Commission threatened to withdraw funding to Soccer Australia unless it implemented the measures outline by the Crawford committee. The board then resigned en-masse.
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 "Names for association 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.
Move to AFC
On 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 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"
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