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Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FIFA-Strasse 20 - P.O. Box - 8044 Zurich - Switzerland
Tel: +41-(0)43-222 7777

55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter with Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, President of the new Member Association of Timor-Leste in 2005

Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA-Strasse 20 - P.O. Box - 8044 Zurich - Switzerland

Tel: +41-(0)43-222 7777 - Fax: +41-(0)43.222 7878

In his address to some 1,000 association delegates, guests and media representatives on Monday, 12 September 2005, the second day of the 55th Ordinary FIFA Congress in Marrakech, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter gave a generally positive overview of the current state of football. However, at the same time, he drew the football family's urgent attention to a number of challenges that FIFA must actively address and conquer. "We should in essence be able to live in a wonderful world thanks to the beautiful game, but some parts of today's football world are sadly not as wonderful as they should be. That is why we must take stock of the problems that face us, analyse them and find solutions," Blatter said.

At the FIFA President's request, the delegates endorsed the creation of the FIFA Task Force for the Good of the Game by 198 votes to 1. It will be composed of experts and representatives from all the key groups of the international football family and will report directly to the FIFA Executive Committee.

In his address, the FIFA President underlined the need for increased solidarity within the game. "The gap between football's rich and poor is widening, as is the imbalance between associations and leagues," Blatter said. "We have to fight this alarming trend. The structure of the football pyramid, with players and clubs forming the base that support the associations and confederations and FIFA at the apex, must be defended for the good of the game."

Blatter also made reference to various challenges that need to be addressed, including the  failure to comply with decisions issued by football bodies, recourse to civil courts and interference from political bodies. The FIFA President warned of the dangers of certain football leagues' quest for independence, multiple club ownership and the growing lack of national identity at club level. He also spoke of the threats posed by doping, discrimination, corruption and betting.

At the same time, Blatter appealed to the conscience of the delegates. "The associations must be managed more professionally. It is no longer possible to work on a voluntary basis alone. An association must be run like a business," the FIFA President said.

Blatter drew positive conclusions in relation to FIFA's development programmes. Every year, world football's governing body re-invests somewhere in the region of 70% of its revenue into development activities and the organisation of football tournaments at various levels. "The house of football I spoke of at my first Congress in Los Angeles in 1999 has now come to fruition in the great majority of nations. Thanks to the Goal Programme, every FIFA member association will have its own headquarters and a training centre by the end of 2006."

These efforts are being supplemented by humanitarian initiatives that include partnerships with the United Nations and many of its bodies and agencies, SOS Children's Villages and countless other non-governmental organisations. Together with the International Olympic Committee, FIFA will also give its first ever presentation to the World Economic Forum next year in Davos (Switzerland) in order to highlight the social and cultural importance of football and sport in general.

In its first ever Congress on African soil, FIFA reported on its plans for a worldwide campaign to prevent football-related injuries as well as various other medical initiatives.

Enquiries to be addressed to:
FIFA Media Department - tel.: +41-43/222 7272, fax: +41-43/222 7373, E-mail:
FIFA COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION  / Marrakech, 11 September 2005 / 2005-0081-CongressMarrakechPSpeech-E.doc

FIFA Congress History

  • 1908

    The 1908 Congress in Vienna is dominated by political issues. Whereas Norway and Finland are admitted to FIFA unopposed, the request for admission from Scotland and Northern Ireland gives rise to a heated debate.
  • 1909

    On 30 May 1909, FIFA President Daniel Burley Woolfall welcomed delegates from 13 member associations to the sixth Congress in the short history of world football’s governing body.
  • 1910

    Only 11 years after FIFA’s foundation, President Woolfall was already able to look back on a number of successes. In his opening speech, he noted that FIFA had been of great assistance to the game and provided an excellent means of fostering understanding between the individual associations, thus ensuring uniformity of action.
  • 1913

    The 10th Congress, the first major anniversary Congress in FIFA’s young history, was not celebrated in any special way. Delegates were looking forward more to FIFA’s tenth birthday a year later, and focused instead on the controversial items on the agenda.
  • 1929

    Twenty-three associations were present in Barcelona in 1929 when Jules Rimet's dream of an international tournament began to take shape - only twelve months after it had first been discussed at the Congress in Amsterdam.
  • 1934

    The Capitol in Rome was the venue for the 22nd FIFA Congress in 1934, to which President Jules Rimet welcomed delegates from 27 countries. The second FIFA World Cup™ was fast approaching and recently introduced measures crucial to FIFA’s future were on the agenda at the Congress in Rome.
  • 1946

    The representatives of the 34 associations attending the first FIFA Congress staged after the Second World War pass several far-reaching decisions.
  • 1964

    If one had to pinpoint when Africa made its breakthrough on the international sporting scene, the 1960s would likely stand out. Although formal decolonisation had begun some years earlier, it was beginning to have an increasingly noticeable effect in the sporting world.
  • 1984

    The 1984 FIFA Congress saw the celebration of two anniversaries – President João Havelange’s tenth year in office and FIFA’s 80th birthday. To commemorate the founding of FIFA 80 years earlier, in Paris on 21 May 1904, the 44th Congress was opened on precisely the same date in 1984.
  • 1996

    Former President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, who passed away recently, was one of the guests of honour at the jubilee Congress in Zurich in 1996. In his speech, he emphasised football’s special status as the world’s most popular sport and referred to the first Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, to be staged at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • 2003

    The 2003 FIFA Congress in Doha was not only the first ever to be held in the Middle East but it was also the first to be attended by every member association, at that time numbering 204.
  • 2005

    In his address at the FIFA Congress, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter gave a generally positive overview of the current state of football.
  • 2006

    FIFA will be heading into the years ahead with a powerful vision and the slogan “Develop the game, touch the world, build a better future.”
  • 2007

    Incumbent President Joseph S. Blatter has been confirmed by acclamation for a third term of office and Montenegro have been admitted as FIFA's 208 th member.
  • 2008

    Convening today in Sydney, the 58th FIFA Congress voted with a significant majority (155 yes, 5 no) in favour of a resolution on 6+5.
  • 2009

    Following the 59th FIFA Congress in Nassau, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter discussed the progress made to assembled members of the world media.
  • 2010


    The second day of the 60th FIFA Congress began in Johannesburg this morning, following yesterday's opening ceremony.

  • 2011


    The opening ceremony of the 61st FIFA Congress in Zurich features a colourful mixture of music and light entertainment. Grace Jones tops the bill.

  • 2012

    The second day of of the 62nd FIFA Congress has concluded in Budapest and you can now watch the post-meeting press conference here on
  • 2013


    Nearly 500 children took part in FIFA Grassroots events and an '11 for Health' workshop in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis as the 63rd FIFA Congress took place Thursday and Friday.

  • 2014

    Following the budget approval by FIFA’s 64th Ordinary Congress in São Paulo, world football’s governing body is set to invest USD 900 million in football development during the cycle 2015 – 2018.
  • 2015

    Incumbent FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term of office by the 65th FIFA Congress held in Zurich today. After the first ballot (206 valid votes, 133 for Joseph S. Blatter, 73 for HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein), HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein addressed the Congress to announce that he was “withdrawing from the race."
  • 2016

    FIFA Member Associations approved a package of landmark reforms that paved the way for significant improvements to the governance of global football, and Gianni Infantino was elected as the ninth FIFA President at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress 2016 held in Zurich.
  • 2016

    The 66th FIFA Congress kicked off a new era for FIFA and global football with the announcement of a “step change” in FIFA’s investment in football development, new FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, progress on the implementation of the reforms, and the FIFA Legends programme.