FIFA's finances solid
© Foto-net

At its meeting in Zurich on 23 and 24 October, the Executive Committee primarily discussed finances, competitions, the international match calendar, social responsibility and political and legal matters.

On the subject of finances, a detailed analysis of the potential impact of the ongoing international financial crisis was presented, first to the Finance Committee and then to the Executive Committee. According to this analysis, FIFA has not suffered any losses, and is well equipped to weather the current crisis thanks to a number of factors, including: the diversification of its financial assets; low exposure to currency fluctuations; the fact that 95 per cent of the 2007-2010 income budget is under contract; good cost management; and the diversity of its portfolio of commercial and TV partners. The figures will, as usual, appear in the financial report at the end of the current financial year.

As was the case for previous FIFA World Cups™ since 1998, the Executive Committee approved the Finance Committee's recommendation that FIFA take out an insurance policy to provide cover of USD 650 million in the event of the postponement and/or relocation of the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. This policy will only provide cover against terrorisms, natural disasters, epidemics, war, accidents or turmoil.

With regard to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Executive Committee decided that, in order to protect the welfare of the players, they should play their last club matches on 16 May 2010 at the latest. A mandatory rest period will be in place from 17 to 23 May 2010. The final of the UEFA Champions League - scheduled to be played on 22 May 2010 - will be the only exception to this rule. A similar approach was adopted prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The FIFA Executive Committee also discussed the possibility of announcing the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups simultaneously. The proposal was accepted in principle, but a final decision on this matter will not be taken until the Executive Committee's next meeting in Tokyo, on 19 and 20 December 2008.

The Executive Committee also received a report from the Players' Status Committee on an issue FIFA considers fundamental: the protection of minors and training clubs. A series of measures, which you can view by clicking on the links to the right, is being considered in order to provide young players with greater protection and to monitor the application of FIFA regulations. In particular, steps to control youth academies were approved.

The Executive Committee once again expressed its support for the 6+5 proposal approved by the FIFA Congress in Sydney.

The Executive Committee stressed the importance of social responsibility for FIFA, which through the Football for Hope programme develops humanitarian projects all over the world. For further information, see the Football For Hope link on the right.

With regard to member associations, the Executive Committee decided to suspend the Samoa Football Soccer Federation, as the problems within the federation persist despite the establishment of a normalisation committee. The Executive Committee also renewed the suspension of the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) because the elections that were due to be held before mid-October have not yet taken place. The KFA is therefore suspended until further notice.

A report on the situation in a number of other member associations, including Indonesia, St Kitts and Nevis, Peru and Spain, was also presented. FIFA will suspend the Peruvian football association if government interference does not stop by 21 November.

An application for affiliation from the Kosovo football association was deemed not to comply with art. 10 of the FIFA Statutes, which stipulates that only "an independent state recognised by the international community" may be admitted. In accordance with the Statutes, Kosovo cannot play any friendly matches.

The committee took note of progress in the discussions on the possible affiliation of the Turkish-Cypriot Football Association (CTFA) to the Cyprus Football Association (CFA).

Other matters:

- FIFA U-17 World Cup 2009: the government of Nigeria has informed FIFA that it is no longer in a position to provide its support for the organisation of the tournament. FIFA is looking into the situation.
- 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa: as part of efforts to promote the competition on every continent, a global Fan Fest project is under way. 16 cities have been chosen for the project.
- 2009 international match calendar - the following dates have been added to the 2009 international match calendar:

AFC (Asian Football Confederation): 17 June 2009
CAF (Confederation of African Football): 20-21 June 2009

In addition, owing to the participation of these teams in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009, the following amendments have been approved:
- for the USA, the period from 3 to 6/7 June has been reserved to replace 6 and 10 June
- for Egypt, the date 4/5 July has been reserved to replace 20/21 June.

The next meeting of the Executive Committee will take place in Tokyo on 19 and 20 December.