The Strategic Committee, chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, convened today at the Home of FIFA for its meeting. Amongst the many diverse topics on the agenda were two major issues: the fight against racism and protecting the game. The members, representing the different facets of the game, concluded their discussions with the formalisation of concrete proposals which will now be submitted to the FIFA Executive Committee for deliberation at its next session on 20-21 March.

“Today, the members of the strategic committee showcased once more the united front of the football community in our zero tolerance policy against racism and match manipulation. I am very pleased with the ideas that have evolved today and look forward to the deliberations with the Executive Committee next month. The aim is to present to the FIFA Congress in Mauritius in May concrete actions, as well as strong sanctions which will really have an impact,” summarised the FIFA President.

In this context, FIFA reiterated that its position was clearly described in article 3 of the FIFA Statutes: “Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion.” Most recently, at FIFA’s 62nd Congress in Budapest on 24-25 May 2012, the FIFA Congress approved the FIFA Code of Conduct, a critical part of FIFA’s ongoing reform process. Article 3.3 of this code states: “Zero tolerance of discrimination and harassment: We are committed to a diverse culture. There shall be no discrimination as a result of race, ethnicity, origin, skin colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, language, physical appearance, sexual orientation or political opinion, or engagement in any kind of verbal or physical harassment based on any of the above-mentioned or any other criteria.”

Included among the other topics discussed today were the use of goal-line technology, the international match calendar, anti-doping, worldwide player insurance, and the FIFA PERFORMANCE Programme, FIFA’s strategic football management programme which is tailored to the needs of FIFA’s member associations.