FFA Media Release: Determination of independent National Arbitration Tribunal

The independent National Arbitration Tribunal convened today, Friday 29 December 2017, in relation to an application for Determination of a Dispute lodged by the Hyundai A-League Clubs regarding the release of Hyundai A-League players to be part of the Australian U23 men’s national football team for the AFC U23 Championship which will be played in China from 9-27 January 2018

The independent Arbitrator, Dominic Villa, dismissed the Clubs’ application that they are not required to release the selected players.

FFA CEO David Gallop acknowledged the decision of the independent Arbitrator.

“Going into today’s hearing we believed that we had a strong case to select players from the A-League for national representative teams under the long standing contractual relationship with each A League club set out in the club participation agreement,” said Gallop.

“It is not ideal that this Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournament falls outside a designated FIFA international window, however, the scheduling is outside FFA’s control. As the governing body of football in Australia it is vital that we are able to select strong, competitive squads for these events so that we can develop the best players possible to represent Australia at senior level. It is also very important that Australia is an active participant in Asian football. The players want the opportunity to represent their country and Australian football supporters want us to be competitive.

“FFA is also responsible for running the A-League and we consider seriously the impact these selections can have on the Clubs which is why in this case we limited the maximum number of players chosen from any one Club to three.

“Satisfying the requirements of FIFA regulations, AFC tournaments and the Clubs is complicated and a good example of the fact that decisions taken by the governing body regularly require a balancing of competing interests.

“We will continue to work with the Clubs and the players through Professional Footballers Australia to seek the best outcomes in these matters.”

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