Ex-Co backs FIFA’s work to help improve working conditions in Qatar
© Foto-net

Chaired by FIFA President Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee held its first meeting of the year at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 20 and 21 March.

FIFA Executive Committee member Dr Theo Zwanziger, who has been mandated by FIFA President Blatter to coordinate all necessary talks on the issue of labour rights in the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ host country, Qatar, reported on the consultations made so far with bodies including the Qatari authorities, civil society organisations, the International Labour Organization, trade unions, FIFPro and Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, in order to discuss feasible and sustainable solutions. The Executive approved this approach and expressed its belief that FIFA, though not responsible for any country’s domestic laws, can help improve the situation of labour rights and working conditions in Qatar, and agreed that this matter needed to be constantly and very closely looked at. FIFA President Blatter will visit Qatar before the 2014 Congress in order to discuss progress with the authorities on the matter of labour rights, while a FIFA delegation, including Dr Zwanziger, will gain first-hand insight.

FIFA President Blatter reported on the latest meeting between the member associations of Israel and Palestine in Zurich and noted the progress made. The FIFA President confirmed that he will meet the highest political authorities in the region before the upcoming Congress.

Furthermore, the Executive ratified the decision of the FIFA Emergency Committee on friendly matches involving clubs and representative teams of the Football Federation of Kosovo and noted the smooth manner in which Kosovo’s friendly match with Haiti had proceeded in their FIFA-approved debut on the international stage in Mitrovica on 5 March.

Regarding FIFA’s governance reform process, the Executive confirmed that both the “age limit” and “limitation of term of office” items would be submitted to the 64th FIFA Congress on 11 June for decision.

Additionally, the Executive unanimously approved the extension of the mandate of the co-opted female members of the Executive Committee, Moya Dodd (Australia) and Sonia Bien-Aime (Turks and Caicos Islands), by one year. This proposal will be submitted to the FIFA Congress.

The Executive approved FIFA’s 2013 Financial Report. FIFA ended the 2013 financial year with a positive result of USD 72 million. Total revenue amounted to USD 1,386 million, while total expenditure amounted to USD 1,314 million. 72% of expenditure was ploughed straight back into football (through events and development projects). The Audit and Compliance Committee, whose chairman Domenico Scala addressed the Executive today, had previously recommended the approval of the 2013 Financial Report.

The Executive approved the new Regulations on Working with Intermediaries, which will come into force on 1 April 2015, provided the 2014 FIFA Congress approves the required amendments to the FIFA Statutes.

Other matters:

- The Executive welcomed the positive report given on the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup; in particular, the opening match was played in front of 34,453 spectators (sold-out stadium), which is a record at any FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

- Rabat (subject to completion of stadium works by 31 August 2014) and Marrakech were approved as both venues of the FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2014.

- The mandate of the normalisation committee of the Cameroon Football Association (FECAFOOT) was extended until 30 November 2014.

- The creation of an international match calendar for futsal was approved.

The next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee will be held in São Paulo (Brazil) on Saturday, 7 June and Sunday, 8 June 2014.