James Johnson to continue as Football Australia CEO until 2024

James Johnson

The Board of Football Australia have confirmed that the contract of Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, has been extended until the end of 2024.

This contract extension will see Johnson remain in charge through the FIFA World Cup 2022, FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023, AFC Asian Cup 2023 and the Paris Olympics in 2024.

James Johnson joined Football Australia in January 2020 on a three-year contract. Since being appointed, Johnson has served with distinction, despite a period of great volatility almost immediately upon commencing in the role, with COVID-19 taking its toll on the Australian football community and the Australian community at large.

The extension will also allow Johnson to continue to lead the work being undertaken with Football Australia’s 15-year vision embodied by the XI Principles for the future of Australian football, as well as the bold and ambitious Legacy ’23 plan to leave an everlasting legacy for the sport beyond the global tournament being held on our shores in a year’s time, a key priority of Football Australia.

Football Australia Chair Chris Nikou said via FA statement that the Board was unanimous in reaching the decision to extend Johnson’s contract and congratulated him.

“James’ tenure since January 2020 has coincided with a period of great progress and development and on behalf our board, I am delighted to confirm that James will remain in the chair until the end of 2024. We knew that he was a visionary and collaborative leader who brought a great understanding of the game from a global perspective and importantly a local one.

“He has been able to make enormous impact and progress as the game’s Chief Executive, guiding the organisation out of COVID-19, leading the successful bid to co-host the FIFA Women’s World Cup, developing and implementing a new 15-year vision for the sport, finalising the unbundling of the professional leagues from Football Australia and overseeing a commercial turn-around of the organisation as we now enter an exciting and pivotal period for the sport.

“Given the strong progress made under James’s leadership, it was vitally important to the Board that we extended the contract, so that we can continue the strong trajectory our game has taken under his leadership.”

Johnson said via press release:

“We have taken enormous steps forward as a sport over the last couple of years and I have been extremely proud of what we have achieved.  Despite enduring one of its most challenging periods, our community has shown its resilience and continues to thrive.  This new administration has remained focused and returned Football Australia to a strong financial position and to date, has secured more than $230 million in legacy contributions from Federal and State Governments for the future of Australian football.

“The best for Australian football is ahead of us, and I am privileged and excited to be leading the game into this next phase.  In the next 12 months, we will participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and host the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023TM – two of the biggest sporting events on the planet and an opportunity to leverage the world game which we will not see again in our lifetime.

“I would like to thank the Football Australia Board for the faith they continue to place in me, my Executive team, and staff, as well as the games’ stakeholders for their support.  I remain committed to bringing our game closer together and elevating Australian football to global standards to drive positive football outcomes for generations to come.”

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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