Dear member associations,
Dear friends,

Welcome to the July edition of the President’s message.

In the spotlight
FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 final matches
14 July
Fully in keeping with the official slogan, “Building bridges for future stars”, a high-quality FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 put the global spotlight on a number of teams and a host of talented players. At the end, Les Bleuets of France claimed the U-20 crown for the first time after a nail-biting victory in the final. France are now the first nation to have now won all five FIFA tournaments in men’s 11-a-side international football (World Cup, Confederations Cup, Olympic Football Tournament, U-20 and U-17) at least once – a remarkable achievement.

FIFA Coaching Instructors’ Seminar
10 July
The FIFA Coaching Instructors’ Seminar was a four-day event organised by FIFA’s Development Division. It brought together technical directors, development heads and coaches from every confederation across the globe and was the first to be held for five years. Covering theoretical, technical and practical aspects of the wide-ranging roles of FIFA instructors, it was a chance for some of the world’s top practitioners in their field to exchange ideas and experience.

Portugal at Kayseri hospital
3 July
Players and members of the Portugal delegation discovered a noble way of breaking the routine of training and camp in Kayseri prior to their round-of-16 tie against Ghana at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013. A social initiative promoted by FIFA involved members of the team visiting Acibadem Hospital on Monday afternoon, where they handed out presents and match tickets to children undergoing treatment.

On the road
Middle East trip

6-9 July
The first stop of my busy agenda was Jordan, where I was fortunate to see first-hand the benefits of some FIFA Goal projects as well as the location of a future FIFA-funded football turf pitch in a city where many Syrian refugees are housed.

In accordance with the mandate I received from the Congress, which included the task of mediating between Palestine and Israel to ease the movement of players in and out of Palestine, I met with Palestinian sports and governmental authorities and also had the pleasure of inaugurating three further Goal projects including a football turf pitch in Tulkarm, the Joseph Blatter Football Academy in Al-Bireh and the headquarters of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) in Al-Ram.

Israel was the last stop in my Middle East itinerary, where I held talks with the Israel Football Association and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As a result of these talks, a task force has been created with the presidents of UEFA, the AFC, the Israel FA and the Palestinian FA to further discuss the issue of player movement.

“Camp Beckenbauer” conference
17 July
On 17 July I travelled to Austria for the “Camp Beckenbauer” conference where, among other activities, I took part in a round-table discussion about the FIFA World Cup™ with Franz Beckenbauer, President of the German Football Association Wolfgang Niersbach and former German international Günter Netzer.

At the Home of FIFA
Visit of Cameroon delegation
 
18 July
I had the pleasure of welcoming to the Home of FIFA a delegation from Cameroon’s government, including Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation René Sadi, Minister of Sports and Physical Education Adoum Garoua and ambassador for Switzerland Léonard Henri Bindzi. The cordial talks focused on football development in Cameroon and the suspension of the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT), which has now been lifted following the appointment of a normalisation committee.

Council of Europe 
16 July
I welcomed a delegation from the Council of Europe led by Anne Brasseur (Luxembourg), chairperson of the ad hoc sub-committee for the reform of international football. Domenico Scala, chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee, also attended the meeting, which followed a series of steps taken by the Council of Europe in the area of sport, notably a resolution on good governance and ethics in sport in 2012. I look forward to further exchanges with the Council of Europe.

Linzi district delegation
15 July
A delegation from the district of Linzi, China recently visited me at the Home of FIFA. They were last here on 20 May 2005, when they joined our Centennial celebrations. China is said to be the birthplace of football, as a ball game called “cuju” was first played there in 200 BC.

Meeting of chairmen of FIFA Ethics, Audit and Compliance and Disciplinary Committees
11 July
Following their formal election at the recent 63rd FIFA Congress, the chairmen of the two chambers of the FIFA Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert (adjudicatory) and Michael J. Garcia (investigatory), together with their respective deputy chairmen, Alan Sullivan and Cornel Borbely, the chairman of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee, Domenico Scala, and the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Claudio Sulser, met at the Home of FIFA in July. The aim of the meeting was for the chairmen and their deputies to discuss a series of common topics such as the fight against match manipulation, and the value of the audit function in ensuring compliance with FIFA requirements and regulations. The group also discussed progress made over the past year in implementing the 2012 Code of Ethics and the next steps in that process.

Visit of World Anti-Doping Agency
10 July
FIFA met the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) at the Home of FIFA to discuss new strategies in the fight against doping in sport. The chairman of the FIFA Medical Committee, Dr D’Hooghe, and FIFA Chief Medical Officer Prof. Jiří Dvořák, among others, had a fruitful working session with a WADA delegation, which included its Director General David Howman.

Other events
CONCACAF Gold Cup
28 July
Thanks to a goal by Brek Shea in the 69th minute, the USA secured a 1-0 victory over Panama in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Americans stretched their record winning streak to 11 matches and claimed their fifth Gold Cup crown after previously taking the title in 1991, 2002, 2005 and 2007. Every edition of the event has been played on US soil.

UEFA Women’s EURO
28 July
Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer saved two penalties to help Germany win a record sixth consecutive UEFA Women's EURO with a 1-0 victory against Norway in Solna. Substitute Anja Mittag scored the only goal of the game just a few minutes after being introduced from the bench at the beginning of the second half, but the true star of the show was Angerer.

Copa Libertadores champions
24 July
On 24 July, Atlético Mineiro were crowned Copa Libertadores champions for the first time after beating Paraguayan opponents Olimpia on penalties. After a 2-0 defeat in the first leg in Asunción, the Brazilian side, coached by Cuca, managed to wipe out their deficit inside 90 minutes thanks to goals from Jô and Leonardo Silva.

Birthday wishes to Nelson Mandela
18 July
On 18 July, I wrote to Nelson Mandela to wish my friend and South African icon a happy 95th birthday as well as offering praise for the inspirational example he continues to set. My message on this landmark occasion was simple: “Let’s celebrate humanity!”

“Let’s Kick for Fun” festival 
6 July
Eager young girls took part in the “Let’s Kick for Fun” festival, an event organised by The Hong Kong Football Association and funded by FIFA with the aim of promoting girls’ football in Hong Kong. Participants had the opportunity to take part in fun games and small-sided matches, all the while learning the basics of football, most notably via the experienced guidance of Chan Shuk Chi, head coach of the Hong Kong women’s national team.

Marketing workshop for FIFA partners
3 July
The Moroccan city of Marrakech welcomed FIFA’s Commercial Affiliates and the title sponsor of the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 presented by Toyota on Tuesday, for the first marketing workshop co-organised by FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013.

UNIFESP unveiled as FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence
1 July
The Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) has been officially inaugurated as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence by FIFA Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Dvořák, at an official ceremony held in São Paulo on 1 July. UNIFESP is the second Brazilian centre to receive such an honour, and joins a prestigious list of 33 medical centres and clinics worldwide that have also been accredited to this high standard.

Did you know that…
The invitation to all member associations to submit a declaration of interest in hosting the FIFA Congresses in 2016 and 2017 by the end of June 2013 was very successful.

For the 2016 Congress, the following associations have expressed an interest: Costa Rica, Canada, Greece, Jamaica, Jordan, Korea Republic, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan. 

For the 2017 Congress, Costa Rica, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Malaysia, Palestine, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have expressed an interest. The final decision on the hosts will be taken at the FIFA Executive Committee meeting in December 2013.

The final of the FIFA Confederations Cup attracted the largest sports television audience of the year in Brazil and topped 2013 television viewing figures in Spain, rounding off the most popular Confederations Cup on record in broadcasting terms.

During the Confederations Cup, there were 30 million visitors to FIFA.com in 30 days. The tournament also saw the launch of Facebook pages for the Official Mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ and an official tournament page. An official Facebook page for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ will be launched soon.

In other Confederations Cup news, Fuleco, the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ mascot, experienced his first big event as well as touring Rio and the other Host Cities.

The long-awaited sale of 2014 FIFA World Cup™ tickets will start on 20 August 2013 at 12.00 CET (07.00 BRT) via FIFA.com. In total, about three million tickets will be available for fans to purchase during the three sales phases. Please visit FIFA.com for the detailed ticketing information kit.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Local Organising Committee (LOC) hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup Park from 4 to 17 July as part of the 27th World University Games in Kazan, attracting more than 150,000 visitors.

At the FIFA Master course graduation ceremony in Neuchãtel (SUI), German football icon Steffi Jones presented certificates to 30 students from 24 countries. Founded in 2000 by FIFA and the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) in Neuchâtel, the FIFA Master is a postgraduate course dedicated to all sports, which now serves as a benchmark for the training of sports administrators.

Looking ahead

  • CONMEBOL Extraordinary Congress, Asunción
    1 August

  • Official holiday (Swiss National Day)
    1 August

  • Holy month of Ramadan
    9 July to 7 August

  • Official Draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Abu Dhabi
    26 August

For the Game. For the World.

PS: Stay up to date with my visits and thoughts by following me on twitter: http://twitter.com/seppblatter