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The Australian Men’s Futsal team, the Futsalroos, have had their final preparation ahead of the 2019 Futsal Championships.
It was the first time since 2016 since the team last played, after competing in the 2016 Futsal World Cup in Colombia where they were knocked out in the group stage.
Now, the Futsalroos have completed a warm up match against the Solomon Islands at Valentine Sports Park on an important day as it was Australia’s last chance to see the team live in their country.
With a healthy turnout and live stream provided by Football NSW, the Futsalroos got the required 3-2 win with the support they needed that will see them depart to Vietnam for the 2019 Futsal Championships.
The AFF Futsal Championships serve as a stepping stone towards qualifying for the 2020 AFC Championship, as it’s the next qualifying stage.
The nations that finish in the top 3 places of the AFF Futsal Championships will progress to the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup.
This will hopefully be just the beginning of the Futsalroo’s latest tilt on the world stage with the new qualification bid for the World Cup, which has gotten off to winning ways.
At the AGM, three nominations were received to fill two Elected Director positions on the Board of Football Australia for terms expiring at the 2026 AGM:
CICCARELLO, Salvatore (Sam) proposed by Football South Australia and seconded by Melbourne City FC;
HILL, Alison proposed by Football Tasmania and seconded by Football Northern Territory; and
PAPPAS, Spiro proposed by Football NSW and seconded by Football Victoria.
Football Australia’s Members voted to elect Mr. Sam Ciccarello and Mr. Spiro Pappas for terms of office, expiring at the 2026 AGM.
After the AGM, the Board convened to unanimously elect a new Chair, as Chris Nikou previously confirmed he would be stepping down. Anter Isaac was named to succeed him – a respected figure within the football community to lead the organisation. In addition, experienced technology and media executive Jaclyn Lee-Joe was also elected as Deputy Chair.
Nikou reflected on his five-year tenure as Chair, a role he had since November 2018 and was also a board member since 2014.
“As we conclude an extraordinary year for Australian football, my pride in our accomplishments in 2023 is immense,” he said in a statement.
“The Subway Socceroos and CommBank Matildas have delivered historic performances in their FIFA World Cups, sparking a nationwide celebration of our sport’s excellence. Our strong financial and commercial outcomes, alongside these successes, highlight the robustness and resilience of Australian football.
The unparalleled funding driven by the Legacy ’23 initiative, and our role in successfully co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup, are clear indicators of our dedication and capability. These are not mere achievements; they represent the flourishing potential and global recognition of Australian football.
“The continued expansion of our grassroots programs remains the cornerstone of our sport, crucial for sustained success. The triumphs of this year reflect the collective effort and commitment of the entire Australian football community. As I transition out of my role, I am filled with confidence that Australian football is on a trajectory to reach unprecedented levels, fuelled by our collective passion for the game and a steadfast commitment to excellence.
“Being the Chair of Football Australia has been both an honour and a tremendous responsibility. The progress we have made, and the resilience displayed by our football community during a period of dynamic change, fills me with immense pride.
“With the sport poised for continued growth, I am confident that under Anter’s leadership, Football Australia will scale new heights and continue to make significant strides in the world of football.”
Anter Isaac also spoke about becoming Chair as he thanked Nikou for his services.
“Firstly, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the outgoing Chair, Chris Nikou, for his exceptional leadership and dedication to Australian football,” Isaac said.
“His contribution has been invaluable. I am also profoundly grateful to my fellow Board Members for their confidence in me and I look forward to working with them. Stepping into the position of Chair of Football Australia is both an honour and a responsibility that I embrace with enthusiasm and commitment.
“Building on the strong foundation laid by Chris and previous Boards, our focus will be on nurturing our nation’s passion for football, advancing our strategic objectives, and ensuring the sustained growth and success of football at all levels in Australia.”
The Football Australia Board now comprises of the following members:
The A-Leagues have announced that New Zealand will have its second team in the competition with an Auckland-based side to join Wellington Phoenix for the 2024/25 season.
The newly established club will enter the A-League Men’s competition next October and begin life in the A-League Women a year later, for the 2025-26 competition.
The new team is still lacking other parts of club DNA like colours, a badge, a kit, a training facility and home stadium which would have to be decided in the near future.
Australian Professional Leagues (APL) said that there was a decision made by senior football executives to award American billionaire businessman Bill Foley a club licence to form the new franchise.
Foley is a 78-year-old insurance and financial services magnate who has had a recent history of dabbling into the sports ownership world.
In 2016, Foley was awarded a similar expansion licence to create the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL, with the team winning the Stanley Cup last season just seven years after establishment.
Recently, Foley has focused on football, with ownership and eventually assuming the role of chairman for AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League as well as acquiring a minority stake in French Ligue 1 club FC Lorient where he has created a partnership between the two clubs.
This expansion has the ability to connect the new Auckland-based team to those two clubs, creating a simple pathway for quality loan players or transfers.
Foley discussed the potential and excitement this new team can bring to football in New Zealand.
“Building a championship team from expansion has been my most exhilarating professional achievement, and I aim to do the same for the fans of New Zealand and particularly the community on the North Island,” he said in a personal statement.
“It’s an honour to bring a top football club to Auckland. It’s a special place and an area that I know will embrace this team.”
Stephen Conroy, APL Chair, mentioned that the ownership of the club is in good hands.
“In Bill Foley we have a proven global sports investor and operator with a track record of building deep roots in the community, a passion for football, and a long-standing business and personal relationship with New Zealand,” Conroy added in a statement.
“We are delighted to welcome Bill and his team to the A-Leagues and look forward to seeing the club in action next year.”
APL said that Football Australia and New Zealand Football will now seek final approval from FIFA and the AFC federation to confirm this move.