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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
By ESPN Staff

NZ A-League decision delayed again

The saga of New Zealand's A-League soccer involvement was further prolonged on Friday with Australian officials delaying an announcement on their future until next week.

New Zealand Soccer (NZS) were hoping for an announcement on Friday as their Wellington sub-licensee vies with Townsville consortium Tropical Football for the eighth spot in the A-League in 2007-08.

But Football Federation Australia (FFA) spokesman Adam Mark said the decision was not being taken lightly and would not be announced until Monday at the earliest.

"It's a massive decision and we've never put a time frame on it," he said.

"There will be more deliberations over the weekend."

FFA operations manager Matt Carroll and FFA chief executive Ben Buckley discussed the New Zealand bid on Thursday and were consulting with FFA chairman Frank Lowy who is understood to be overseas.

Wellington bid head John Dow and NZS chief executive Graham Seatter said this week they were confident they had the minimum guaranteed $1.2 million to satisfy the FFA requirements.

If New Zealand can satisfy FFA they have the financial backing they would be favourites to retain their place in the league.