Football Australia chair Chris Nikou to step down at pivotal time for game

Chris Nikou has announced he will stand down as chair of Football Australia before the end of the year with the game at a “pivotal” juncture following the huge success of the Women’s World Cup on home soil.
Nikou, who took the position five years ago after having initially joined the FA board in 2014, will not seek re-election as chair at the upcoming AGM, to be held on 22 November.
His decision comes with football in Australia enjoying a rare moment in the sun off the back of the Matildas’ thrilling run to the World Cup semi-finals last month, and the Socceroos’ performance in the men’s version in Qatar last year.
Nikou said the sport had transformed significantly during his nine-year tenure as a board director, but he would now miss out on perhaps the biggest leap yet as FA seeks to capitalise on renewed interest in the game with the implementation of its Legacy 23 plan.
The Matildas’ fourth-place finish has given FA another golden opportunity to boost the profile of the game locally, after the goodwill created by the Socceroos’ last-16 appearance in Qatar was largely squandered.
But Nikou said now was the right time to pass on the baton to a new chair, who would be able to offer “new energy and ideas” to the role.
“It is important for an organisation to get fresh perspectives, especially as we look ahead to the 2024 Paris Olympics and the next Fifa World Cup cycles,” he said. “This shift at such a pivotal time will bring in new energy and ideas, which are crucial in the ever-changing world of sports and leadership.”
Nikou listed FA’s championing of equal pay, the unbundling of professional leagues from FA and aligning with global standards as major milestones achieved under his stewardship, along with strong participation and commercial figures.
“Looking back at my time as chair, I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved together, and I am also excited about the current state of the sport and Football Australia’s position both at home and internationally,” he said.
“Football has always held a special place in the heart of Australians. The foundations that have been established ensure a prosperous trajectory for Football Australia and the sport.”
The new chair will be elected by the board at the mandated AGM in November, when two board positions will be up for rotation-based election.

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