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 By AAP

Football Federation Australia delay A-League expansion shortlist announcement

Australia are remaining quite confident ahead of their opener versus France and are focusing on the mantra about playing as a collective.
Jamie Maclaren says the confident Socceroos are happy to be kicking off their World Cup against a team as strong as France.
France coach Didier Deschamps is already analysing Australia's potential formations and has called out a few of the Socceroos' most pivotal players.
Stephanie Brantz is on site as Australia are in good spirits with their preparations ahead of their World Cup opener against France.

Football Federation Australia has further delayed announcing its A-League expansion shortlist until at least next week as further information is sought from bids.

The governing body was due to release a shortlist earlier this week comprising the strongest half a dozen or so bids from the 15 formal expressions of interest submitted last month.

But that was pushed back after Deloitte, the consulting company examining the bids and advising FFA, sought additional information from a number of the groups.

That's believed to include financial details around their funding models.

An FFA spokesperson told AAP the announcement will definitely not occur this week.

"The process is under the guidance of Deloitte and continues to be thoroughly implemented," the spokesperson said.

"No issues but [the shortlist] will be several days more."

FFA is set to make a final decision on two new teams by the end of October before their introduction in the 2019-20 season.

That would take the total number of clubs to 12, as the competition gradually builds towards 16 teams.

Despite calls to beef the league up to 14 franchises straight away, it's understood there are no plans to expand past the 12 initially planned for.

It's still unclear what FFA plan to charge for a licence, a factor which could impact groups which have less substantial financial backing.

Metropolitan bids from Sydney and Melbourne appear to be among the frontrunners, with the Lang Walker-backed United for Macarthur and southeastern Melbourne's Team 11 generating the most steam.

The tense wait has also ignited an ugly turf war as Sydney FC and hopefuls Southern Expansion continue to fire potshots at each other.

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