Saturday, July 02, 2005

Australians sack national coach after losses

Now part of the Asian Football Confederation, Australia is making up for lost time in its preparation for its play-off for entry to the World Cup in Germany. The head of the Australian game, property developer and tycoon, Frank Lowry wasted no time in dismissing an old colleague, the national coach, after losses in FIFA's Confederations Cup, as The Age (Melbourne) reported:

Frank Lowy was on his boat - or should that be floating palace - off the Greek islands when he made up his mind that Frank Farina should no longer be coach of the Socceroos.

Within a week, the board of Football Federation Australia had met by teleconference to rubber-stamp the presidential decree and by lunchtime last Wednesday, Farina was out of a job.

After six years in the post, a roller-coaster ride through possibly the most turbulent period in the game's history, Farina had fallen foul of Lowy and philosophically accepted his fate.

"Once I knew I'd lost the support of the president, that was that," Farina said at his farewell news conference on Thursday.

Farina had survived six previous chairmen and six chief executives, but Lowy is an
infinitely more formidable presence. Sentiment has never interfered with his stellar business career, nor has it affected the way he has involved himself with soccer, his first true love.

In the mid-1980s, Lowy had pursued and secured the services of Farina, the player, when he was president of Sydney City. In those days, Sydney City was the best team in the country and Lowy was its driving force.

But once he decided the game was heading in the wrong direction, Lowy did not let emotion cloud his judgement. One game into the 1987 season, Lowy pulled Sydney City out of the league.


Read more of the saga here.