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AUSTRALIAN MOVE INTO ASIA CONFIRMED

Australia gets FIFA approval

FFA Media Release

Thursday 30 June 2005

In probably the most monumental decision for Australian Football the FIFA Executive Committee has approved the move of Australia into the Asian Football Confederation – effective 1 January 2006.

Significantly the FIFA Executive Committee also decided that due to all parties involved being in agreement the move would not need to be discussed at the FIFA Congress.

A FIFA Statement read, “The Football Federation of Australia will be entitled to change from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).”

“After prolonged debate and consideration of the facts at hand, the executive body reached the conclusion that, as all of the parties involved (Confederations of Oceania, Asia and the Australian association) had agreed to the move, the case did not need to be discussed by the FIFA Congress. Australia will therefore belong to the Asian Football Confederation as from 1 January 2006.”

Football Federation Australia Chairman Mr Frank Lowy, who was in Frankfurt for the decision, said it was the most significant decision ever in Australian Football.

“Today is a significant date in the history of football in Australia,” said Mr Lowy.

“We are delighted with the decision. It is the fulfilment of our dream to move in to Asia and we must now work hard to ensure a smooth integration and to gain the maximum benefits of the move.

“I’d like to thank the FIFA Executive Committee for their wisdom and understanding of our situation and the Asian Football Confederation for their enthusiasm in our bid to join with them. I would also like to pay special tribute to the Oceania Football Confederation for their support. We will continue to play an active role in supporting the development of football in that region.”

FFA CEO Mr John O’Neill said there was a lot of work to be done now to capitalise on the move.

“This is a transforming event of incredible magnitude and opportunity for the game; now we have to work closely with the AFC to commence the integration,” said Mr O’Neill.

“This is a hugely exciting development for football in Australia across all levels, not just for the men’s national team, and we look forward to this new era as a member of Asia.”

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