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32nd & 34th FIFA Congresses, Rome 1960 & Tokyo 1964

FIFA Congress in Roma, 1960

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.

Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila made sporting history on 10 September 1960 when he won the marathon in the Olympic Games in Rome in record time and became the first black African to win Olympic gold. Progress was also being made in football. In 1960, FIFA had only a handful of African members, including the three founding members of the African confederation established three years previously – Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. They were joined by Ghana and South Africa, whose membership of FIFA was already the subject of intense debate.

The Congress in Rome, held just three weeks before Bikila’s victory, marked the start of a surge in membership of world football’s governing body. Half a dozen associations were admitted: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia. Somalia and Guinea were admitted two years later in Santiago de Chile. On admitting Guinea, FIFA reached the 100-member mark. Another two years later in Tokyo in 1964, FIFA’s ranks grew by another 20 African associations – the largest intake in FIFA’s history.

FIFA Congress History

  • 55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005

    55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005
    In his address at the FIFA Congress, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter gave a generally positive overview of the current state of football.
  • 56th FIFA Congress, Munich 2006

    56th FIFA Congress, Munich 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.”
  • 63rd FIFA Congress, Mauritius 2013

    63rd FIFA Congress, Mauritius 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.
  • 64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 2014

    64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 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.
  • 65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 2015

    65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 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."
  • Extraordinary FIFA Congress, Zurich 2016

    Extraordinary FIFA Congress, Zurich 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.
  • 66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 2016

    66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 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.
  • 67th FIFA Congress, Manama 2017

    67th FIFA Congress, Manama 2017

    FIFA’s 211 member associations assembled in May 2017 in Manama, Bahrain for the 67th FIFA Congress. The organisation’s supreme body made a few important decisions to validate reports on FIFA’s activities in 2016 and, more importantly, to agree on key steps for the future of the organisation.