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Australia Moves To Asia

On 1 January 2006, the FFA formally completed its move from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

I think the prime motivation behind this is for Australia to avoid the lottery of World Cup qualification that Oceania presents. We can now compete for one of the four or five spots Asia gets each time. In some ways this will be tougher, but removes the pressure from a single home and away tie.

In addition, we will now play in the Asian Cup and A-League teams will be eligible to play in the Asian Champions League.

The history of the move is something like:

  • lots of behind the scenes lobbying
  • March 25, 2005 - AFC Executive Committee endorses the move
  • April 17, 2005 - OFC assents
  • June 29, 2005 - FIFA agrees (although they noted as all parties agree the FIFA Congress does not need to discuss the issue)
  • September 10, 2005 - AFC unanimously ratifies the decision
  • January 1, 2006 - decision takes effect

Somewhat ironically, Australia first applied to join the AFC in 1964 but were denied entry. Instead we formed the Oceania Football Federation with New Zealand and Fiji in 1966.