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Creating national foundations


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In 1956, Australia became a FIFA member through the Australian Soccer Association. Though Australia's membership was soon suspended in 1960 after disobeying FIFA mandate on recruiting foreign players without a transfer fee. In 1961, the Australian Soccer Federation was formed and later admitted to FIFA in 1963, after outstanding fines had been paid. In 1966, Australia became founding members of the Oceania Football Federation (now Oceania Football Confederation).

Pre-1960s, competitive soccer in Australia was state-based. In 1962, the Australia Cup was established, but its ambition of becoming an FA Cup style knockout competition went unfulfilled with its demise in 1968. In 1977, the first national soccer competition, the National Soccer League, was founded. In 1984, the National Soccer Youth League was founded as a reserve and academy league to run in parallel to the National Soccer League. In 1996, the first national women's football competition, the Women's National Soccer League was founded. The National Soccer League and those for women and youth flourished through the 1980s and early 1990s, though with the increasing departure of Australian players to overseas leagues.

Soccer reached notable popularity among Australian people during the second half of the 20th century. Johnny Warren, a prominent advocate for the sport, who was a member of the Australia national team at their first FIFA World Cup appearance in 1974, entitled his memoir Sheilas, Wogs, and Poofters (a reference to the Australian slang: sheila, wog, poofter), giving an indication of how Warren considered the wider Australian community viewed "wogball".

In the mid-1990s, Soccer Australia (the governing body for the sport) attempted under the Chairmanship of David Hill to shift soccer into the Australian mainstream and away from direct club-level association with migrant roots. Many clubs across the country were required to change their names and badges to represent a more inclusive community.

in the structure, governance and management of football in Australia led the restructure of Football Federation Australia (previously Australian Soccer Federation, Soccer Australia, Australia Soccer Association) and later in 2005, the succeeding relaunched national competition, the A-League. The restructuring of the sport in Australia also saw the adoption of "football", in preference to "soccer", to align with the general international name of the sport. Although the use of "football" was largely cultural, as part of an attempt to reposition the sport within Australia, there were also "practical and corporate reasons for the change", including a need for the sport to break away from the baggage left over from previous competitions. However, the move created problems within the wider community, engendering confusion due to the naming conflict with other football codes, and creating conflict with other sporting bodies.

Australia ended a 32-year absent streak when the nation team qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The team's qualification and success in the tournament helped increased the profile and popularity of the sport in the country.

The national team qualified for second and third consecutive FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014; and placed second in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. The joining of Western Sydney Wanderers to the A-League in 2012 saw a rise in interest for the league within Australia, particularly increasing mainstream interest  and re-engagement with disaffected Western Sydney football fans. Also, the formation of the National Premier Leagues in 2013 and subsequent restructuring of state leagues as part of the National Competition Review and Elite Player Pathway Review has paved the way for the development of the sport throughout the country.  The launch of the FFA Cup in 2014, has also similarly increased mainstream interest and grassroots development.

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