FFA chairman Steven Lowy walks away from football – report

Lowy says he will not seek re-election after losing patience with the protracted battle over governance of the game in Australia Football Federation Australia’s chairman, Steven Lowy, has sensationally announced he will not seek re-election, potentially ending his family’s more than 50-year association with football in Australia. In an interview with The Australian Lowy cited “the politics in football” as behind his decision to leave, warning that mooted corporate governance changes that could give A-League clubs more power would be “an unmitigated disaster for the game”. Continue reading...

Melbourne Victory convinced Keisuke Honda to postpone retirement

  • Japanese player reveals A-League offer changed mind
  • ‘I’m inspired by Kevin Muscat,’ says Honda
Japan superstar Keisuke Honda was planning to retire from soccer before Melbourne Victory offered him an A-League contract. The 32-year-old fronted a large media contingent on Wednesday after arriving in Melbourne, with many Japanese journalists travelling to cover his first press conference. Retired from international football Honda says he didn’t think he would play on at all after the World Cup but a meeting with Victory coach Kevin Muscat convinced him to join the A-League champions – on a one-year deal believed to be worth $2.9m.
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Keisuke Honda to coach Cambodia national team while playing in A-League

  • Honda signs two-year contract and won’t receive a salary
  • Melbourne Victory insist he won’t miss A-League matches
Former Japan international Keisuke Honda has been named general manager of Cambodia’s national team just a week after signing for Melbourne Victory in the A-League.
However, Melbourne Victory were quick to assure fans that their marquee signing would not miss A-League matches, being available to Cambodia only when the competition paused for FIFA-sanctioned international dates.
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Daniel Arzani completes move from Melbourne to Manchester City

  • Australian expected to be loaned out to Celtic
  • Follows Aaron Mooy in moving to sister club
Manchester City’s global network has again borne fruit with the signature of Australia’s most promising young football talent, Daniel Arzani, who is now expected to be immediately loaned out, with Scottish giants Celtic his most likely destination. Nineteen-year-old Arzani, whose substitute appearances for the Socceroos at the age of 18 made him the youngest player to feature at the 2018 World Cup, follows in the footsteps of compatriot Aaron Mooy, who swapped Melbourne for Manchester two years ago before being loaned out and eventually becoming a record signing for Huddersfield. Continue reading...

Graham Arnold to juggle Socceroos post with Under-23s job

  • New structure announced for Australian setup
  • Socceroos to hold training camp in September
New Socceroos boss Graham Arnold will also take over as Olyroos coach as part of a national restructure he says will help bring talented young players through quicker.
Australia’s Under-23 men’s team hasn’t qualified for the Olympics since Beijing 2008, adding an extra dimension to an already challenging task for Arnold. His coaching set-up has also been confirmed, with high-performance guru Andrew Clark and analyst Doug Kors following him from Sydney FC. Continue reading...

Usain Bolt’s gimmick tag will be hard to shake in A-League | Stephen Ganavas

The commercial benefits of the Jamaican’s arrival clearly outweigh doubts over his on-pitch ability Usain Bolt in the A-League. It’s a fascinating prospect. An announcement from the Central Coast Mariners that the eight-time Olympic gold medallist would be joining the club on trial for an indefinite period of time sparked a global frenzy this week. Bolt, after all, has never played a professional football match in his life, and it must be stressed – this is a trial. At this point, he is still not a contracted Mariners player and there is every chance he never will be. However, there is great potential for this to help further embed the club in the community, allowing young potential Mariners fans to see one of the world’s most famous and recognisable athletes donning a Mariners shirt. A training shirt, but a Mariners shirt nevertheless. Continue reading...

Luke Brattan cleared after major FFA Cup injury scare

  • Neck injury stops play for over 30 minutes
  • Brisbane Roar 0-1 (aet) Melbourne City
Melbourne City’s Luke Brattan has been given the all-clear after being taken to hospital during the club’s FFA Cup win over Brisbane Roar. Play at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium was stopped for more than half an hour following a seemingly innocuous collision in the 36th minute involving Brattan and Stefan Mauk, who crossed from City to the Roar in the off-season. Continue reading...

Keisuke Honda signing promises to rejuvenate flailing A-League | Oliver Trenchard

In Japan, Honda is box office and there’s little to suggest things will be any different in Australia “Human, man, educator, social activist, entrepreneur, angel investor, soccer player.” So reads Keisuke Honda’s social media biography. Indeed, he is more than just a footballer. “No one’s bigger than the club” goes the much-used cliche in football. However, you would be hard pushed to find a player in Asia that attracts a larger following and more media attention than Honda. If it’s gravitas you’re after, no active A-League player comes close to the Japanese playmaker. Continue reading...

‘I don’t think limits’: Usain Bolt looks ahead to professional football with Mariners – video

The world's fastest man Usain Bolt will train with Australia's Central Coast Mariners for an “indefinite" period in an attempt to realise his dream of becoming a professional footballer. The A-League side become the fourth club that Bolt has tried out for, following teams in Germany, Norway and South Africa. The agreement does not guarantee the eight-time Olympic gold medallist a playing contract but allows him the chance to chase the opportunity of a start with the Mariners. Continue reading...

Usain Bolt’s A-League trial confirmed by Central Coast Mariners

  • World’s fastest man invited to train for ‘indefinite period’
  • Jamaican to arrive in Gosford later this month
Usain Bolt will link up with the Central Coast Mariners for an “indefinite training period” in an attempt to realise his dream of becoming a professional footballer. The A-League club has confirmed Bolt, an eight-time Olympic athletics gold medallist, will arrive in Gosford later this month. Related: Melbourne Victory unveil Keisuke Honda as A-League's latest marquee player Continue reading...

‘Quietly confident’: Hellenic Athletic aim to mix it with Wanderers in FA Cup

Northern Territory teams have fared poorly since the Cup’s inception but Darwin’s oldest club is hoping to buck that trend Mention sport in the Northern Territory and you hear the names of Michael Long, Maurice Rioli, Matthew Whelan and Cyril Rioli. Australian rules football has long been king in the Territory and behind it is rugby league (Will Chambers, Ben Barba), hockey (Mark Hickman, Stephen Holt, Nova Peris) and a host of other sports.
But football also has a long and proud history in the NT, and one that will take centre stage on Tuesday when Hellenic Athletic, who are celebrating their 60th birthday this year, meet Western Sydney in the FFA Cup’s round of 32 at Darwin Football Stadium. Continue reading...

Melbourne Victory unveil Keisuke Honda as A-League’s latest marquee player

  • FFA and Fox Sports funding brings star to Australia
  • ‘Honoured he has chosen our club,’ says Anthony Di Pietro
The A-League finally has a new big-name star after Melbourne Victory confirmed the signing of Japan international Keisuke Honda to put an end to weeks of will-he-won’t-he speculation. The 32-year-old, who has scored in the last three World Cups and boasts 37 goals in 98 games for his country, arrives in Australia thanks to financial support from the $3m marquee fund set up by Football Federation Australia and Fox Sports. Continue reading...

Just how close is Australia to being suspended by Fifa? | Jonathan Howcroft

It is a doomsday scenario but faced with another FFA failure to pass reform the stakes are rising fast “Welcome to day one of the 20-day PR war.” That was the foreboding message I received last Wednesday by someone close to the latest chapter in Australian football’s governance crisis.
Wednesday was 1 August, the day after the Congress Review Working Group submitted its report to Fifa. As predicted, it was a day full of media releases, a day awash with spin but bereft of substance, and the start of a run of up to 20 days of filibustering. Continue reading...

Sky is the limit for the Matildas after another impressive outing in US | Lisa Portolan

Two wins and a draw at the Tournament of Nations have given rise to cautious excitement heading into a World Cup year It didn’t end in silverware for the Matildas this time, but nevertheless the past two weeks have provided an opportunity to showcase the tremendous talent this Australian team boasts. Alen Stajcic’s side went undefeated throughout the Tournament of Nations – victorious against Japan and Brazil and earning a draw against the USA – and validated why they’re one of Australia’s most successful and esteemed teams.
Related: Matildas fall short despite Tournament of Nations win over Japan Continue reading...

Optus secures Champions League rights weeks after World Cup fiasco

  • Telco will also broadcast Europa League and Super Cup
  • Streaming service remains free until end of month
Optus has won the rights to broadcast the Uefa Champions League in Australia not long after it was heavily criticised for its botched coverage of the World Cup. The broadcaster said in a statement on Friday that it would screen all Champions League matches for the next three years, as well as the Uefa Europa League and the Uefa Super Cup. Continue reading...

FFA confirms opposition to Fifa-recommended congress changes

  • Four state federations standing in way of proposals
  • Steven Lowy denies FFA pressured stakeholders
Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy has confirmed his board is opposed to “crucial aspects” of a report handed down by a Fifa-backed working group into how the federation’s congress should be expanded. Related: Time for FFA to show real leadership and bring miserable chapter to an end | Jonathan Howcroft Continue reading...

Matildas suffer late heartbreak as USA salvage Tournament of Nations draw

  • USA 1-1 Australia
  • Lindsey Horan swoops late to cancel out Chloe Logarzo goal
An injury-time equaliser saved the United States’ now 18-game unbeaten record as the Matildas came within seconds of repeating last year’s Tournament of Nations victory over the current World Cup holders. Australia coach Alen Stajcic came to the University of Connecticut’s Rentschler Field – a 40,000-capacity open concrete bowl home to the American football team – with a plan and the Matildas came close to executing it to perfection.
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