FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was re-elected for a fourth term of office until 2015 by the 61st FIFA Congress, held today in Zurich. A clear majority of 186 member associations voted in favour of the incumbent president, who will remain at the head of world football’s governing body for the next four years. In total, 203 ballots were cast in an election conducted by secret ballot.
President Blatter thanked the delegates for placing their trust in him. “I am honoured to accept the 61st FIFA Congress’s mandate to serve as president during the 2011-2015 period. Together we can tackle the problems that football faces today and show that our game remains very solid and strong,” he said.
The FIFA President spoke about the need for transparency and “zero tolerance” in the fight against the dangers that threaten football. The member associations approved his proposal that the Congress will have the final vote to decide on the host of the FIFA World Cup™ and will have the power to elect the members of the FIFA Ethics Committee. The Congress also approved another proposal made by President Blatter: the creation of a corporate governance and compliance committee composed of respected personalities from the football family, and possibly from other areas outside football, which will have the duty to investigate and suggest solutions to the problems they identify. The FIFA President concluded that, if required, an extraordinary congress would be convened in order to review the findings of this committee and restore FIFA’s credibility.
The 208 member associations of FIFA were all in attendance at the start of the Congress, which approved the decision taken two days before by the FIFA Executive Committee to lift the suspensions on the football associations of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Brunei Darussalam. The associations of Brunei Darussalam and São Tomé e Príncipe were not entitled to vote as they had not met the statutory requirements regarding minimum participation in FIFA competitions. Consequently, 206 associations had the right to vote.
At the start of proceedings, the FIFA Congress approved the agenda for the 2011 Congress, the minutes of the 2010 Congress in Johannesburg, the 2010 FIFA Activity Report, FIFA’s financial statements for 2010 and the 2007-2010 period, and the detailed budget for 2012. The details of these financial statements are contained in the FIFA Financial Report, which can be read on FIFA.com.
The Congress ratified a number of amendments to the FIFA Statutes. Articles 73 and 78 to 80 were amended to have clearer provisions regarding the authorisation of international matches in order to protect the integrity of the game.
An amendment to article 5 was also approved in order to give a statutory basis to the “first-registered players” project proposed by FIFA in close cooperation with UEFA, which has the objective of protecting training clubs and young players, as well as the pool of players available for the representative teams, and encouraging the competitiveness and unpredictability of competitions.
In addition, article 14 was modified so as to allow for a member association that commits one single but very severe infringement of its obligations as a member to be suspended. Finally, articles 34 and 36 were amended to modify the name of the Internal Audit Committee to Audit Committee, in order to better reflect the role of this committee as a body that reports to the Congress.
Finally, outgoing FIFA Vice-President Dr Chung Mong-Joon was made Honorary Vice-President of FIFA by the Congress, and outgoing Executive Committee members Junji Ogura, Franz Beckenbauer and Geoff Thompson were presented with a distinction. Meanwhile, HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, David Chung and Jim Boyce were welcomed as new FIFA Vice-Presidents, and Manilal Fernando, Mohamed Raouraoua and Theo Zwanziger as new members of the FIFA Executive Committee, as elected this year by their respective confederations.
Next year’s FIFA Congress will take place in Budapest, Hungary, on 24 and 25 May 2012.