AFC, FIFA back FFA against billionaire's moves

02 March 2012 05:46

FIFA and Asia's governing body threw their support behind Football Federation Australia and against a rival football organisation set up by Australian billionaire miner Clive Palmer.

Palmer on Thursday announced he was forming a new independent organisation aimed at holding governing body FFA to account for how it ran the game.

The move came after Palmer's club Gold Coast United was kicked out of the domestic A-League by FFA chief and fellow tycoon Frank Lowy for contravening competition regulations.

Palmer said his organisation, Football Australia, had been registered with the Australian Investment and Securities Commission and was designed to ensure the game operated with "transparency and fairness".

But the Asian Football Confederation on Friday said it emphatically backed the FFA, chairman Frank Lowy and chief executive Ben Buckley.

FIFA also said it will only back one association in each country and in Australia's case that was the FFA.

The AFC released a statement from Kuala Lumpur saying it fully supported FFA in its war with Palmer's rival organisation.

"The AFC confirms that it recognises only FFA as the official affiliated member association representing Australian football in Asia," the statement said.

"According to the AFC Statutes, only one national association shall be officially recognised in each country by the AFC. Accordingly, the AFC will only recognise and deal with FFA on all football matters concerning Australia.

"The AFC also wishes to acknowledge and underline the AFC's strong relationship with FFA, its Chairman Frank Lowy, and Chief Executive Officer Ben Buckley."

FIFA said it was in full agreement with the AFC's stance in backing Australia?s governing body, adding that it would continue to observe proceedings.

"We fully share the sentiments expressed by The AFC. According to article 10 of the FIFA Statutes only one Association shall be recognised in each country," the FIFA statement said.

"FIFA will continue its close cooperation with FFA, however, we will also continue to monitor the situation."

Palmer has been critical of the way FFA is run and has lashed out at the salaries being paid to FFA executives while clubs lose money.

FFA chief Ben Buckley has described Palmer's claims as "unsubstantiated" and "wild commentary" which in no way advanced Australian football.

Sunday's A-League match between Gold Coast United and Wellington remains in limbo after Palmer's bid for a Supreme Court injunction against his A-League licence termination was delayed until late Friday.

Source: AFP