Australia's parting gift to Oceania Confed

Australia will transfer from the miniscule Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Confederation this weekend when the world body, FIFA, officially sanctions the move - but almost four decades of history will not be forgotten with a parting gift to Oceania.

In Marrakech for the FIFA meeting, Football Federation Australia chairman, Frank Lowy will sign off on a 12-year co-operation agreement between the FFA and the OFC, worth around A$250,000 a year.

It ensures continued competition at youth level between island teams and Australia's academy teams, including the Australian Institute of Sport. Scholarships are also likely to be offered to promising Oceania players as part of a deal including administrative, coaching and referee exchanges.

The OFC, in a bid to avoid lop-sided scorelines at future FIFA competitions, is reported to be ready to offer Asia a play-off scenario - sacrificing the guaranteed spot it receives at all levels apart from senior men's. The trade-off is that FIFA will need to ensure the 2010 World Cup play-off will be Oceania/Asia, and not Oceania/South America as is presently the case.

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