22 new Goal projects approved - four associations to receive first project
© AFP

At a meeting chaired by FIFA Executive Committee member Mohamed bin Hammam (Qatar) in Zurich on 4 February 2008, the Goal Bureau announced that since March 2007, a total of 25 Goal projects have been completed and inaugurated as part of FIFA's development programme.

The Bureau also approved 22 new projects (association headquarters, technical centre and/or football turf pitches) including first projects for Korea Republic, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal, second projects in 12 countries and third projects in six further countries. In addition, two first projects that had already been selected - Brunei and Japan - received final approval. However, a Goal project in Barbados has been shelved until further notice due to a lack of progress.

Goal, with development offices dotted around the world, is the focal point as well as the driving force behind FIFA's football development work and it has now successfully established itself as a powerful brand. At the meeting, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter stressed that during the current Goal phase, FIFA would focus on making sure that the existing projects were carefully maintained and on breathing life into the infrastructure that has already been put in place. In the years to come, FIFA will therefore be paying closer attention to the football structures of its member associations and concentrating on providing the necessary event management know-how.