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Football Federation Australia clarifies Collective Bargaining Agreement processes

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has issued a statement addressing the current status of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

In the statement, FFA announced it continues to work closely with the A-League and W-League Clubs (the Clubs) as the unbundling process continues towards a new model for Australia’s Professional Leagues. The new model is aligned with the in-principle agreement entered into in 2019 and was endorsed by the New Leagues Working Group, the body FFA Congress mandated to create recommendations for the optimal future of Australia’s Professional Football Leagues.

In deference to the in-principle agreement, FFA has gradually implemented practical changes to give the Clubs and its representative body, the Australian Professional Football Clubs Association (APFCA), more operational control.

For the Clubs and the APFCA, this has included assuming control over the negotiation with Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) of the CBA for the Professional Leagues. This change has seen the APFCA assume the role of ‘employer representative’ and negotiator on behalf of the Clubs directly with PFA, who represent the player group on CBA matters.  FFA has taken a more traditional ‘regulator’ role in the negotiations.

This is a process toward the unbundling of the Professional Leagues from FFA.  In time, the Clubs will have operational control of the Professional Leagues that has been sought and debated for many years. This will place Australia in a consistent position with global football frameworks where the Professional Leagues operate as a separate entity under the umbrella of the National Federation.

FFA concluded its statement by reinforcing that it is actively monitoring the negotiations between the APFCA and PFA, and remains committed to supporting both parties in their negotiations. The organisation stated that although it continues to monitor these negotiations, if the parties cannot reach agreement, FFA will enter the negotiations at the appropriate time.

FFA retains the role of negotiating the CBA directly with PFA relating to Australia’s National Teams, the Westfield Matildas and Socceroos.

For more information, visit www.ffa.com.au.

Significant trio joins Football Australia Legacy ’23 Ambassadors line up

FA

Football Australia has announced the addition of Elizabeth (Liz) Broderick AO, Special Rapporteur and Independent Expert to the United Nations, Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnley AO, and Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison to the Legacy ’23 Ambassador Program.

The brand-new additions are set to bring their unique expertise to the program, particularly in the areas of international advocacy and diplomacy, tourism, plus diversity and inclusion. The trio will speak to the wide range of ambitions highlighted in Football Australia’s bold and innovative Legacy ’23 plan in the lead up to and beyond the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.

In her former role as Australia’s longest-standing Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Liz Broderick AO has played an integral role in helping to break down structural and social barriers faced by women and men and has cemented herself as a globally recognised leader and advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Through her influential work with the United Nations and the Champions of Change Coalition, focusing on the rights of women and girls, Liz will use her Legacy ’23 ambassador role to help drive conversations around how gender equality in sport can influence other industries and progress international diplomacy.

Of her role, Liz said via a Football Australia statement:

“I hope that through Legacy ’23 we will see the sport become a catalyst to help our nation achieve gender equality for the next generations of women and girls here in Australia and across the world. What we know from all the research is that greater levels of gender diversity, build performance and capability, and that’s the great opportunity that exists off the back of 2023.”

Having grown up in the regional New South Wales town of Carcour, three-time gold medal-winning Paralympian, Kurt Fearnley AO, knows first-hand the importance of having advocates to support an individual’s progress and access to equal opportunities.

Of his role, Kurt said via Football Australia:

“Being a Legacy ’23 Ambassador is about making sure I can continue to play a role in ensuring that people with disabilities are visible and accepted within the community. The acceptance of the community was integral to my journey to becoming a professional athlete, and without it, I may never have been able to realise my potential. So, I hope that through Legacy ’23 we can further level the playing field and create pathways for athletes of all ages, all cultures and abilities.”

For Phillipa Harrison, hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 represents an incredible moment for the Australian travel and tourism industry to showcase the world-class experiences the country has on offer and reinvigorate the local economy after a challenging two years. Phillipa is also excited to be able to leverage her role as a Legacy ‘23 Ambassador to celebrate the rich diversity of our First Nations people across all corners of Australia.

Beyond her passion to show the best of Australia to the world, Legacy ’23 also represents something quite personal for Phillipa, saying via Football Australia:

“As a mother of two young daughters, it’s really important that they see the possibilities of what they could be, and I would love to think that by having this global event in our own backyard, a whole generation of Australian girls can set their sights a little bit higher on what they can achieve now and into the future.”

Football Australia CEO James Johnson added via Football Australia about the new appointments:

“Our Legacy ’23 Ambassador program set out to represent the rich diversity of our community and with the addition of Liz, Kurt and Phillipa we are one step closer to achieving that. We believe in the ability of this program to influence change at a policy level, but most importantly at a societal level, and all of our ambassadors will be integral in supporting us with our ambitions to drive meaningful and lasting change in our game.”

Previously announced ambassadors making up the Final XI include:

  • The Hon. Julie Bishop, Chancellor of Australian National University
  • Julie Dolan AM, Matildas cap #1
  • Azmeena Hussain OAM, Director Football Victoria and social justice advocate
  • Narelda Jacobs, NIAG Member and Network 10 Presenter
  • Kate Jenkins, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner
  • Awer Mabil, Socceroo

Semi-automated VAR to be implemented at Qatar World Cup

2022 World Cup

Ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, FIFA has announced that it will utilise semi-automated VAR offside technology at the tournament.

As confirmed by head of refereeing Pierluigi Collina following trials at the Arab Cup and Club World Cup, the move to introduce further advancements in the VAR process for this year’s showpiece tournament has been ongoing over the past few months.

The fresh processes – which can cut VAR decision-making from 70 seconds to 25 seconds – are set to be implemented in the Gulf State in November.

Collina, a former World Cup final referee when he took charge of Brazil’s win over Germany at Korea/Japan 2002, says the time is now to bring in semi-automated technology, which will further enhance decision-making.

“We are very positive. It is ready,” he said in a statement.

“I read about robot referees. I understand this is very good for headlines, but it is not the case.

“The match officials are still involved in the decision-making process. The semi-automated technology only gives an answer when a player is in an offside position when they play the ball.

“The assessment of interfering with an opponent and seeing if a handball or foul was committed remains at the discretion of the referee. Our goal is to get referees taking decisions correctly on the field.

“If something wrong should happen, the referee may take advantage of the technology to get a better vision of what happened – but there will still be room for discussion.”

Semi-automated technology will make use of in-ball sensors, dedicated multi-tracking camera rigs and 29 rapid data points on players to help calculate exact positions.

The Qatar 2022 World Cup opens on November 21, with Senegal facing the Netherlands and England squaring off with Iran before the hosts play the official opening game against Ecuador.

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