Chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee held its third meeting of the year at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 3 and 4 October. The FIFA President opened the meeting by outlining a historic moment: for the first time in the history of FIFA, three women – Lydia Nsekera (Burundi) and co-opted members Moya Dodd (Australia) and Sonia Bien-Aime (Turks and Caicos Islands) – took part in a FIFA Executive Committee meeting.
The FIFA President updated the executive on the mandate he had been given by the 2013 FIFA Congress to try to improve the situation of football in Palestine and in particular on his trip to the Middle East in July and the subsequent creation of the FIFA Task Force Israel-Palestine. The executive welcomed the progress made on this dossier. The football associations of Israel and Palestine will implement a mechanism under the umbrella of FIFA that will facilitate the movement of persons and goods. This mechanism includes the modalities and notification requirements as well as the appointment of liaison officers within each association. A meeting will be held under the auspices of FIFA within four months to assess the level of cooperation, with a view to signing a memorandum of understanding at the 2014 FIFA Congress.
Regarding the question of the dates of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, the Executive Committee decided to launch a consultation process among the main stakeholders concerned, including both the international football community (FIFA, confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs, players) as well as FIFA’s business partners (Media Rights Licensees and Commercial Affiliates). This consultation process will be undertaken by a working group chaired by AFC President Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa. Furthermore, the executive outlined that the tournament would be played in nine years’ time and that therefore the consultation process would not be rushed but would be given the necessary time to consider all of the elements relevant for a decision. Consequently, no decision will be taken before the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The executive also gave the FIFA President the mandate to meet the new Emir of Qatar, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and to report personally about the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, including holding talks on labour rights and conditions in the country.
Regarding the procedure for the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, the seeded teams (Pot 1) will include Brazil and the seven top-ranked teams. The remaining pots will be based on geographic and sports criteria. The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of October 2013 (to be released on 17 Oct. 2013) will be used as opposed to the November ranking as the latter would give the teams involved in the upcoming play-off games an unfair advantage.
To further protect the health of players, the executive took the following decisions:
- Additional cooling breaks (after the 30th minute of the first and second halves of the game) will be granted if the Web Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) exceeds 32 degrees.
- The availability of an AED (automated external defibrillator) shall be compulsory at every international game.
Looking back on the adoption of the resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination by the FIFA Congress in May, the executive congratulated the Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination on the great work achieved so far.
Regarding FIFA’s governance reform process, the items “term of office” and “age limit”, which will be on the agenda of the 2014 FIFA Congress, will in the meantime be examined further by Executive Committee Member Dr Theo Zwanziger. Furthermore, as previously and jointly agreed with Prof. Mark Pieth, the Independent Governance Committee will terminate its mission by the end of this year.
The executive expressed their concern about the complexity and increasing magnitude of the issue of third-party ownership of players and welcomed the studies currently being conducted by FIFA in this regard.
The executive were also informed of the proposal of the Task Force for Women’s Football, set up to identify and promote priority opportunities for women’s football, to create a FIFA Women’s Club World Cup. Further discussions with the Task Force, the confederations and the FIFA Executive Committee will be held.
Following a further request from the Jordan Football Association, the executive decided to grant additional aid of USD 800,000 to build mini-pitches for Syrian refugees in Jordan.
- Gabon (FEGAFOOT): extension of the mandate of the FEGAFOOT normalisation committee until 31 December 2013 so it can complete the agreed road map, which includes the adoption of statutes and the holding of elections of new office bearers;
- Solomon Islands (SIFF): establishment of a normalisation committee whose mandate will include the running of the association’s daily business, the restoration of its finances, the holding of elections of new office bearers and the adoption of statutes by the end of 2014;
- Rejection of a request from the Iraqi Football Association to lift the ban on playing international friendly matches in Iraq – the situation will continue to be monitored;
- Appointment of MP&Silva as sales representative in Italy for FIFA’s media rights for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
The next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee will be held in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil) on Wednesday, 4 and Thursday, 5 December 2013.