Under the leadership of chairman Viacheslav Koloskov (Russia), the FIFA Associations Committee met today at the Home of FIFA in Zurich and issued a strong reprimand to governmental authorities who continue to interfere in affairs in the football communities of Poland and Kenya in clear contravention of the internationally accepted standards and statutes of FIFA.
Polish football could face dire consequences should Polish minister of sport Tomasz Lipiec not reverse his decision to appoint a commissioner to head the Polish Football Association (PZPN) - contrary to the roadmap jointly agreed upon during his visit to Zurich on 16 October 2006 - or allow the internationally recognised administration of the PZPN to organise elections by 31 March under the supervision of FIFA and UEFA observers. Such non-compliance with FIFA principles would prevent the PZPN from establishing an executive board in line with the new statutes ratified by its general assembly on 7 January, thus risking a suspension of the federation and all of its members (clubs, players, officials) from all international contact, participation in international competitions at all levels, the organisation of international matches and the appointment of officials for international duties, as well as freezing voting rights and access to Financial Assistance Programme payments.
Concerning Kenya, the committee lamented the fact that despite recent improvements in the relations with the football community in the East African nation, the problems were still far from being resolved due to the Ministry of Sport's systematic obstruction of progress and the National Sport Committee's interference with the federation and local clubs. The Associations Committee decided that unless a clear commitment was made by the Kenyan government and Ministry of Sport by 28 February 2007 to fully respect the FIFA Statutes and comply with the established roadmap for the normalisation of football in the country, the suspension of the federation would continue for the foreseeable future, without a likelihood of change.
The committee also reviewed the status of situations in the associations of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Macedonia, Peru, Senegal, Togo, Turkey and Tunisia, and noted with satisfaction that progress had been made in a number of cases, while agreeing to continue to monitor each of them closely.
An application for membership of FIFA from the Montenegro Football Association was another topic addressed by the committee. After having reviewed the file, the committee decided to recommend to the Executive Committee that the Montenegro FA be put forward as FIFA's potential 208th member at the FIFA Congress in May 2007.
The committee also received an update on the various educational programmes that FIFA is involved with in cooperation with the International Center for Sports Studies (CIES) in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. These programmes are further evidence of the world governing body's efforts to establish CIES franchise programmes around the world to offer FIFA-approved sports management and event organisation training in sync with today's dynamic sporting environment.