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The FFA appears set to join the AFF after having received unanimous support from member associations, although the Socceroos' participation in 2014 Suzuki Cup seems unlikely

GOAL.com Indonesia   By BHAS KHUNJU and PADDY HIGGS


Australia could soon be a member of the Asean Football Federation after receiving unanimous support from member associations.

With the recent announcement of the Asean Super League set for 2015 and an expanded format for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup which will be co-hosted by Singapore and Vietnam, fan anticipation and excitement over the news has been extraordinary.

The AFF confirmed the scrapping of the qualifying process for the AFF Suzuki Cup tournament to allow all 11 member nations to participate in the main tournament.

But some media reports claimed that the expansion meant Australia could make a surprise entry in the competition next year.

Australia have served as an invited member with the AFF since 2006, with participation and groupings limited to age-group competitions only.  The Socceroos take part in the East Asia zone for regional competitions.

However, a Football Federation Australia [FFA] spokesperson told Goal Australia that full membership to the AFF was being sought and was awaiting the formalities for confirmation.

"Asean members have unanimously supported our entry into the AFF," said the spokesperson.

"But it still has to be finalised at the meeting of the extraordinary congress in August."
 
The membership will be for full entry to the federation, but Australia representative teams will initially start participation at the age-group level and in futsal competitions.  The Socceroos will included in AFF competitions in the near future.

The spokesperson added it was 'very unlikely' that the new guidelines will be implemented in time for the Socceroos to be included for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.

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