Curtain rises on Congress

The opening ceremony of the 61st FIFA Congress, to be held on 31 May and 1 June in Zurich, takes place at 17:00 CET local time.

During the event, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter will welcome Swiss Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey, IOC President Jacques Rogge, Mayor of Zurich Corine Mauch, and the Congress delegates and guests, to the opening ceremony at the Hallenstadion convention centre.

The star attraction of the 90-minute show, to be presented by actress Melanie Winiger, is no less a figure than Grace Jones, who took her first steps into show business in the early 1970s, going on to achieve fame as a musician, movie actress and model. The Jamaican-born star will lead her audience on a journey through 40 years of show business in her 25-minute concert.

A further musical highlight will be provided by Swiss virtuoso Nicolas Senn, playing a selection of modern music on his 125-string dulcimer. Winner of the 2010 Swiss Grand Prix der Volksmusik (Folk Music Song Contest), Senn is a well-known artist way beyond the borders of his home country these days, and has even performed on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The programme is rounded off by FIFA’s answer to ballet and the juggling skills of Alan Sulc.