DILI: Australia has become a full member of the ASEAN Football Federation following its extraordinary congress in Timor Leste.

A unanimous vote of the 11 other member associations means Australian national teams can compete in AFF competitions and take a full political role in its work. Australia, which had already ‘sat in’ on meetings of the south-east Asian federation, hosts the Asian Cup in 2015.

The most senior Australian at international level is Moya Dodd who is a vice-president of the Asian confederation and a co-opted member of the executive committee of world authority FIFA.

David Gallop, general secretary and ceo of Football Federation Australia, said: “We look forward to being an active member, and to contributing to the ongoing development and success of football in our region.”

Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, the AFF president, said: “Timor Leste was the last member of AFF. It is only fitting we are all here today for this proud nation to pass the baton to Australia.”

Dodd, who is also an FFA director, said: “Whilst this could be seen as the final piece in Australia’s integration into AFC, it is more appropriate to say this is the beginning of a mutual commitment to the advancement of football in South East Asia.”