Foster stands down in bid for FFA board position

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Former Socceroo Craig Foster has withdrawn his nomination for the FFA board set to be announced on Monday.

The 49-year-old was in the running for the FFA Chairmanship but on Friday announced his campaign had come to an end.

"Despite the amazing support of our football community around the country, it has become clear that I do not have the necessary stakeholder support to succeed in my candidacy for the Board and as Chairman of FFA," Foster said in a statement addressed to the Australian public.

"Accordingly, I have notified FFA of the withdrawal of my nomination.

"I ran a transparent and public campaign not just for the Board, but the Chairmanship for a number of reasons.

"Without strong, independent leadership I believe the game is in peril of making decisions that fail to protect every aspect of our community. I have made no secret of this fact. This is why I have reiterated my determination that there be no deals, no promises – only fair leadership with an allegiance to the entire game.

"Further, it is vital the new Board has not only independent leadership but can exercise its judgement independently to ensure it is capable of delivering the reform agenda the game needs and that we voted for.

"Thank you to the PFA Executive and members for your confidence, and my best wishes go with fellow nominee, Heather Reid.

"My deepest apologies to our players, fans, community and media who have given me such incredible support over the past few weeks. You performed with great passion and bravery. If you all wore the green and gold, I’d be proud to play alongside you. It is your spirit the game needs to succeed. I gave you my very best but, this time, I was not able to deliver.

"The past three weeks has been in some respects a wonderful experience. Speaking to our community all over the country has been uplifting and energizing. I am truly humbled by your love for our game and the blazing passion you have for our sport. When we come together, as equals, we can move the entire nation.

"Don’t let this fire fade, let’s feed it and together we can shape not just the game but the country. You must all play a more direct role in the future of the game and I am committed to supporting you to achieve this end.

"As any football lover knows, one game does not make a season.

"I intend to continue to campaign on bringing our community together, healing our past, and shaping our game through democracy and will be ready to stand again at the right time, in the right environment, with the right team and mandate. I emerge from this process with more energy and drive to make a difference for our game and with a strong policy framework and vision outlining a path forward.

"The game is not yet ready for a former player as Chair. Not yet. It need not be me, but an important process has begun. I will work with our former players to identify and prepare others as it will be necessary, in time, for the real change we crave.

"We need to continue this groundswell of passion and inclusion to make this game truly accountable to us all. It currently is not. Despite the change that has occurred, many things remain the same.

"Ultimately, we all want what’s best for our beloved game. Football does not need a protest vote or candidate, we need unity, which is why I’ve decided to step away.

"The new Board will have my best wishes to deliver the promised reform. In a transparent manner, with oversight by our community, in the best interests of all.

"Finally, I have one request to make. Never stop believing in our game, and our people.

"This is the key to the future that we, and all the legends who came before us, so passionately wish to see.

Yours in Football,
Craig Foster"