Platini stresses 'family values'
© Foto-net

Brought into being on 31 May 2007 in the wake of the FIFA Congress, the Strategic Committee was designed to take over from the 'For the Good of the Game' Task Force working groups, which focused on competitions, finance and political matters.

With UEFA President Michel Platini chairing proceedings, the Strategic Committee met to discuss a vast array of issues for the first time on Tuesday 9 October. According to the Frenchman, the highest priority was to bring football's various factions together, and the committee's eclectic make-up ensured that goal was achieved. Among the 30 members in attendance, Christian Karembeu was on hand to represent the players, Urs Meier the referees, Michel D'Hooghe the medical staff, Joan Laporta the clubs and Jacques Anouma the national associations.

The mission now for the committee's pragmatic chairman will be to start the ball rolling and make sure that decisions and agreements are reached by this promising new institution. The former Juventus and France No10 took time out from his busy schedule to shed further light on the body's work in this interview with FIFA.com.

FIFA.com: Michel Platini, what is the goal of the Strategic Committee?
Michel Platini:
The goal is simple: to bring together football's different families, with the aim of discussing each and every one's problems. Joseph Blatter's arrival at FIFA made it possible for different branches of the family to get along and communicate with each other. That didn't exist before, and it's a good thing for football's various component parts to share their problems with the decision-makers. The idea is to resolve problems within the family, rather than let rulings be made by a judge who comes from outside the world of football and knows little about its specificities.

Which issues dominated your meeting?
All the current issues were discussed: the international calendar, the number of teams and matches in domestic championships, player education, the '6+5' system, player insurance, refereeing and the Laws of the Game as well as a code of ethics between clubs and associations. After these discussions, we'll make recommendations to the Executive Committee and if a change is required in the Statutes it will go before the Congress.

This committee is made up of members from vastly divergent football backgrounds. That must add some difficulty to your discussions.
That's actually what makes the Strategic Committee valuable. Its composition is symbolic because it brings together people from all over the world and from every branch of football. As they meet and speak with one another, some realise that football does not begin and end with them. For example, an official from a big club might realise, thanks to this kind of committee, that his interests sometimes conflict with those of a national association official. Afterwards, he will understand that the football world has many different faces and, for that reason alone, this committee has worth. It makes it possible to broaden debate to include every member of the family.