Australia has been admitted as a full member to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) after an extraordinary congress in Dili, Timor Leste.
Australia's admission, decided by way of a unanimous vote by the 11-member associations of AFF, will enable Australian national teams to participate in AFF competitions and ensure Australia enjoys full political membership of the regional body.
“Football Federation Australia is honoured to be admitted to the ASEAN Football Federation,” FFA general secretary and chief executive David Gallop said.
”We look forward to being an active member and to contributing to the ongoing development and success of football in our region.”
AFF president His Royal Highness Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah welcomed the federation’s newest member.
“Timor Leste was the last member of AFF. It is only fitting we are all here today for this proud nation to pass the baton to Australia,” he said.
FFA director, AFC vice-president and FIFA executive committee member Moya Dodd looked to the future, saying: “Whilst this could be seen as the final piece in Australia’s integration into AFC, it is more appropriate to say this is the beginning of a mutual commitment to the advancement of football in South East Asia.”
The decision was alaso welcomed by AFF general secretary Lt General Dato Azzuddin Ahmad.
“FFA today joins the other 11 countries of AFF as an equal and we look forward to working closely with Australia in the years to come,” Ahmad said.
Australia is currently participating in the AFF under-16 boys championships in Myanmar and will also compete in the AFF women’s championships and AFF futsal championships this year.
The membership comes on the eve of an important milestone in the countdown to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia.
“Tomorrow will mark 500 days to go until the AFC Asian Cup comes to Australian shores. As a member of AFF, we will do our upmost to do ASEAN and indeed all of Asia proud,” Gallop said.
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