The ongoing dispute between the FFA and Gold Coast United's billionaire owner threatens to overshadow the A-League season as both sides prepare for legal challenges
Global governing body Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) threw their support behind the FFA after Palmer revealed his intentions to create rebel association Football Australia following the termination of the club license for his Gold Coast United team.
"The AFC confirms that it recognises only FFA as the official affiliated member association representing Australian football in Asia," the confederation said in a news release on Thursday. "The AFC will only recognise and deal with FFA on all football matters concerning Australia.
"The AFC also wishes to acknowledge and underline the AFC’s strong relationship with FFA, its Chairman Frank Lowy, and Chief Executive Officer Ben Buckley."
Asia's governing body was joined by the world's governing body as Fifa reiterated their preference for the FFA.
“We fully share the sentiments expressed by The AFC," Fifa said in a statement to the Herald Sun. "According to article 10 of the FIFA Statutes, only one Association shall be recognized in each country."
A-League clubs also rallied behind the association, with several club chairmen speaking out against Palmer.
"The establishment of a separate football body and the airing of club matters, that should be managed privately, are divisive and counter-productive to the growth, development and future of football in Australia," wrote Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro on the club's website.
"It is important for clubs to both support and challenge the governing body. But the reality is, the pathway forwards is under the FFA governance, which we strongly support and we will continue to work together with all clubs."
"We urge both sides to come to a quick conclusion for the sake of the game," said Perth Glory chairman and owner Tony Sage in a separate statement.
Meanwhile, the fate of Gold Coast's Sunday fixture against Wellington Phoenix remained in limbo as the hearing for Palmer's injunction to regain control of the club was delayed until late Friday afternoon in Australia.
In relation to the specific issue of [the Phoenix-United match], we have had one priority – to make sure the game is played and the integrity of the competition is protected," FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said in a statement.
“There’s a real determination among the players to fulfill the remaining fixtures and the FFA is working diligently to get that outcome."