FFA chairman Steven Lowy talks state federations out of compromise
A late-night intervention by Steven Lowy has stymied a political breakthrough that may have prevented FIFA taking over Australian football.
In an 11th-hour scramble to maintain his loosening grip on the game's drawn-out civil war, AAP understands the Football Federation Australian chairman caught wind he was effectively being sidelined by major stakeholders and hastily arranged a meeting late on Wednesday night in a bid to get the state federations back on side.
A joint FIFA/AFC delegation is in Sydney seeking to broker a deal for the expanded FFA congress it's demanded, so more stakeholders get a say in how the game is run.
While Wednesday's one-on-one meetings with each party were underway, the A-League clubs and the players' union were engaged in their own feverish negotiations with state federations that ran well into the evening.
This set the wheels in motion for a draft memorandum of understanding to be signed before Thursday's joint meeting.
While such a deal would have stopped FIFA following through on its threat to oust the FFA board and appoint an interim normalisation committee, it would also have forced Lowy into a major back-pedal on his defiant position.
All state federations except the largest, Football NSW, previously supported FFA's since-rejected 9-3-1 of a 13-seat congress featuring nine votes for the nine state federations, three for the clubs and one for Professional Footballers Australia.
It's understood a large proportion of states had agreed on a compromised consensus until they attended the meeting at FFA headquarters with Lowy, FFA chief executive David Gallop and two other officials.
As a result, the chance of a deal being struck during Thursday's all-in meeting appears unlikely, with FIFA's delegation set to depart Australia late on Thursday night.