King and Prime Minister of Belgium receive FIFA President in Brussels
© AFP

Consensus on EU-related football issues.

Belgium's Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy received FIFA President Joseph Blatter at his residence of 2 Rue du Lambermont in Brussels today (Monday, 20 July 2009). President Blatter, who was due to be received by His Majesty King Albert II at the Royal Palace later in the day, led a FIFA delegation which also included FIFA Executive Committee member Michel D'Hooghe, as well as representatives of the Belgium and Netherlands Football Associations.

Among the topics discussed was the joint Belgium/Netherlands bid for the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup™, as well as matters related to national, European and world football, including the specificity of sport within the context of the European Union.

All parties discussed on how to realize the idea put forward by the FIFA Congress to protect national teams, safeguard the education and training of young players and training clubs, uphold the values of commitment and motivation in football, particularly for young players, and curb the loss of clubs' national identity by limiting the number of foreign players (6+5).

Belgium is due to launch a reflexion in the countdown to the Belgian Presidency of the European Union, in coordination with Spain (EU President during the first half of 2010) and Hungary (President during the first six months of 2011) in order to address concerns related to the specific nature of sport.