Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop has denied rumors of A-League expansion into Asia, insisting that his side has no such plans.
The notion emerged after several sources claimed the association has discussed draft proposals to add up to six teams from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Gallop, however, does not believe that these projects will come to fruition, asserting that the plan would not pass Asian Football Federation (AFC) or FIFA muster.
“The idea to form Asian-Australia competition would have put us on a collision course with [the ASEAN Football Federation’s] own plans to form a league,” he said.
“It would have been in direct competition to the Asian Champions League, it would damage our local television relationship with no guarantee of ratings success.
“There are significant travel and logistical problems, and clearly it [will not allow us to] dedicate resources to the development of Australian players.”
A number of A-League clubs had been reported as lending their voice in support of overseas expansion, but Brisbane Roar chairman Chris Fong, representing the club’s Indonesian owners the Bakrie Group, issued a statement clarifying his remarks.
“The fact is I have never said I wanted Asian expansion,” Fong said, “My interest and only priority is the sustainability and growth of what we already have.”
“I am opposed to any Asian expansion until we have 12 successful teams here,” added Perth Glory owner Tony Sage.