FFA's move to halt Futsalroos funding a 'necessary short-term measure'
Football Federation Australia has defended its decision to slash all Futsalroos funding for the next year, calling the unpopular move a "necessary short-term measure" amid wider cost-cutting.
Players and staff of the national team program have been informed they'll receive no funding from FFA for the 2017-18 financial year.
It means the Futsalroos will not be able to compete in November's AFF Futsal Championship in Vietnam, nor can they qualify for the 2018 AFC Futsal Championship.
The decision has elicited stiff criticism on social media, especially given the program acted as a key developmental pathway for Socceroos and Celtic star Tom Rogic.
Some of the world's best players, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi, started out playing the indoor version of the game and credited it for honing their technical skills.
FFA said it intends to resume the program in 2017-18, when Australia will attempt to qualify for the 2020 Futsal World Cup.
"Football Federation Australia understands the disappointment felt in the futsal community around the temporary suspension of the Futsalroos program for the 2017-18 financial year," it said in a statement.
"This is a necessary short-term measure, taken reluctantly, and part of a much wider range of spending cuts which include staff reductions at FFA.
"These spending cuts in part reflect the cyclical nature of FFA revenue and are necessary to balance the FFA's budget while also providing an increase in funding for the Hyundai A-League clubs and the Westfield W-League.
"The Hyundai A-League is a strategic priority for FFA because it is a key element in growing the commercial value of football in Australia."
FFA said a new A-League operating model was critical to gaining sufficient commercial expansion that "will underpin community football programs and our national teams."
It comes as the governing body deals with increasingly disgruntled stakeholders while under pressure from FIFA to expand its undemocratic congress.