FIFA action unclear, but hope remains for Aussie Women’s World Cup bid
It remains unclear what action FIFA will take over the fractured administration of football in Australia, with no official decision emerging from talks at the sport's highest echelon.
However, there is hope that a bid for the 2023 Women's World Cup will remain on track, even if FIFA steps in to disband the Football Federation Australia (FFA) board.
Australian football's stakeholders would fund the bid themselves if government funding fell through as a result of any FIFA action, Football NSW chairman Anter Isaac said.
Speaking on Monday night — hours before FIFA's member associations committee was due to meet on the status of the FFA — Isaac revealed he took time last week to explain to the NSW Government the acrimonious fallout that could see the world governing body in charge of Australian football by the end of the week.
He received concerned feedback from the office of NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres that the predicament could put at risk funding for the Women's World Cup bid.
It follows on from a warning last month from Mr Ayres's federal counterpart Greg Hunt that the Federal Government might withhold $4 million in funding for the 2023 bid should FIFA step in and disband the FFA board.
Should that occur, Isaac pledged the stakeholders — comprising the state federations, A-League clubs and players' union — would dip into their own pockets to make it happen.
"If the Government didn't have confidence in the way football is being governed at the moment, then they're within their rights to withdraw any funding that they've committed to," Isaac told Football Nation Radio.
"I also added to them that, not withstanding that, if that was the view of Government, then the stakeholders would invest and fund the Women's World Cup bid themselves, because we're absolutely committed to women's football and the prosperity of football.
"If government want to come on board they're more than welcome.
"If they're not, we'll wipe our brows and get on with the job."
Football NSW was one of two state member federations, along with Football Federation Victoria, which joined the clubs and Professional Footballers Australia in voting against FFA's controversial congress proposal last week.
It was the final straw that forced the drawn-out imbroglio to be referred back to FIFA on deadline day.
Lowy 'incredibly passionate'
Isaac, who said his federation was independent from all other stakeholders, described under-fire FFA chairman Steven Lowy as "incredibly passionate about the game".
But he was certain Lowy would regret the remarks he made after Thursday's annual general meeting, when he declared those who voted against him "want to take the game back to the bad old days".
"I can only put down the remarks made by Steven and David (Gallop) at that point in time not having total control of their emotions and being incredibly upset," Isaac said.
On Tuesday morning, FFA said it was still to hear from FIFA.
The member associations committee was expected to pass on its recommendation to the Bureau of the Council, a seven-person panel headed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, which has the legislative power to install a normalisation committee.
Although there is no set timeline, the Bureau of the Council could convene as early as this week in Abu Dhabi, where football's chief decision makers are gathered ahead of the Club World Cup.