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Simpauls What?
« on: March 25, 2007, 07:40:31 AM »

Green light for further special projects in Oceania, India and the Caribbean

Zurich, 23 March 2007  -  Convening for the first time in 2007 for a two-day meeting in Zurich under the chairmanship of President Joseph S. Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee decided that special projects along the lines of the 'Win in Africa with Africa' programme are also to be extended to other regions and continents.
As part of the Football for a Better World initiative that is being supervised by the Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility, the executive approved the principle that projects similar to the existing Win in Africa with Africa programme be conceived for other continents and regions (Oceania, India and the Caribbean). Concrete proposals will be presented at the Executive Committee's next meeting at the end of May.

Created by the 2005 FIFA Congress in Marrakech and due to present its final report (focusing specifically on the areas of finance, politics and competitions) to the FIFA Congress on 31 May 2007, the Task Force 'For the Good of the Game' is set to be merged with the Strategic Studies Committee to create a new FIFA standing committee that will serve as an international football forum with representatives from all branches of the game, including clubs and players.

The executive also discussed various proposed amendments to the FIFA Statutes, which will be submitted to the FIFA Congress at the end of May. One of these amendments is intended to strengthen article 62, paragraph 3, which requires associations to insert a clause in their statutes stipulating that their clubs and members may not take a dispute to ordinary courts of law but must instead submit it to the relevant bodies of the association, the appropriate confederation or FIFA. This reinforcement of the FIFA Statutes is founded on the recent decision of the Swiss Federal Court - Switzerland's supreme legislative body - to uphold and confirm FIFA's right to impose disciplinary sanctions by means of points deductions or the relegation of a club to a lower league.

The positive financial figures for the FIFA World Cup year of 2006 and the entire 2003-2006 period were warmly welcomed. FIFA's balance sheet, income statement and its budget for 2008 now require approval from the Congress.

The committee was also satisfied with the progress of preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cupô in South Africa and reiterated its confidence in the local organisers of the event. In all, a record 202 associations have enrolled for the qualifying competition. The preliminary draw is due to take place in Durban on 23 November 2007.

The length of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 in South Africa (venues: Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg (Ellis Park), Pretoria, Rustenberg) was increased by one day. It will therefore be played between 14 and 28 June, with the semi-finals now to be played on separate days.

Although the format for the six-match final tournament of this year's FIFA Club World Cup in Japan will be no different from in 2006, the executive agreed to introduce a qualifying play-off between the Oceania champions and the league champions of the host nation, with the victors then lining up alongside the champions of the five other confederations.

The schedule for the bidding procedure for the 2014 FIFA World Cupô in South America was approved and the Executive Committee will therefore reach its decision on this matter in November 2007.

The executive agreed to allocate the TV rights in Germany for the 2014 FIFA World Cupô to ARD/ZDF, the pair of public broadcasters who already hold these rights for the 2010 tournament. Furthermore, FIFA's partnership with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was extended to include the 2014 FIFA World Cupô.

With respect to problems facing member associations and the preservation of their autonomy, the Executive Committee ratified the Emergency Committee's decision to lift the suspension on the Kenya Football Federation on a number of defined conditions. Furthermore, the Executive Committee took note of the fact that a model of direct political intervention exists in Spain which, in the opinion of FIFA, could lead to sanctions.

Further decisions:
- The affiliation of Montenegro as FIFA's 208th member will be presented to the Congress for decision.
- This year's FIFA Anti-Discrimination Day will take place on 14-15 July 2007 to coincide with the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada. The 2007 FIFA Fair Play Day will be held in conjunction with the United Nations' International Day of Peace on 21 September, shortly before the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women's World Cup in China.
- Originally scheduled for 28 August to 14 September, the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2008 in Chile was, by way of special exception, moved to 30 December 2008 to 17 January 2009 in order to allow for the best possible promotion of women's football.
- The 2008 FIFA Congress will be staged on 28-30 May in Sydney, Australia.
- Canadian club Toronto FC and Bermudan side Bermuda Hogges were given permission to participate in Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League respectively.
- The FIFA administration will continue to deal with the situation regarding Simpaul Travel.

Taking over the role of FIFA vice-president for the first time at the meeting was Michel Platini (France), in his capacity as UEFA President. It was also a special occasion for Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), who was attending his first ever Executive Committee meeting by assuming the seat previously held by Mr Platini.

Further information from:
FIFA Media Department
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