The Association of Australian Football Clubs (AAFC) are encouraged by their meeting with representatives of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Sydney this afternoon.
AAFC was represented by its Chairman Rabieh Krayem, director Gino Marra, and advisor Nick Galatas.
Krayem described the discussion which went for more than two hours as constructive and positive.
“The good news for our member clubs is that FIFA and the AFC understand that the clubs we represent are a critical part of the football ecosystem, that we are a stakeholder in this game, and we are not going away,” Krayem said.
AAFC presented updated data on their members which showed they have coverage of more than 41,000 players, with coaches and volunteers who contribute a total of 65,000 hours per week in the game.
The discussions included progress made by the AAFC since the initial meeting with FIFA and AFC in August last year.
“We were able to talk about the work we are doing on developing a national second division which is, of course, part of FIFA Statutes.
“The FIFA and AFC reps were pleased to hear that we are also meeting tomorrow with the FFA and state federations to progress this further.
“We were able to talk with FIFA and AFC about some of the critical issues faced by our clubs, such as some of the costs and requirements imposed on clubs, and, importantly, the cost for kids to play. One of our highest priorities is to reduce the cost of participation.”
Krayem said that the AAFC representatives are looking forward to meeting with FIFA and AFC again on Thursday, along with other stakeholders to discuss the options for the composition and terms of reference for the working group that will form a new, more representative Congress.
“Once again, we appreciated the opportunity to meet with FIFA and AFC. We appreciate that they’re willing to listen to what we have to say, and to support our endeavours in striving for to help advance football in Australia.”