Another step towards stronger integration of clubs in world football structures
© Foto-net

Eighteen top clubs from all over the world (see list below) met at the Home of FIFA yesterday (7 February) to further discuss the involvement and participation of club football in FIFA's decision-making processes. As a result of fruitful and constructive debates, it was agreed that the current Club Task Force should become a standing FIFA committee for clubs to reach this objective.

As a result of the historic meeting between FIFA, UEFA and several top European clubs on 15 January 2008 which resulted in the foundation of the ECA (European Club Association), Club Task Force members from the various continents were joined by a number of ECA representatives.

Since a similar structure to the ECA cannot yet be put in place in the other confederations and with a view to further strengthening the clubs' partnership with FIFA for consultation on and involvement in FIFA's decision-making processes on all issues affecting club football, it was agreed to transform the current Task Force into a standing FIFA committee. This proposal will be submitted to the FIFA Executive Committee on 14 March and then to the 2008 FIFA Congress in Sydney on 29 and 30 May for ratification.

Both FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and the Club Task Force chairman, FIFA Executive Committee member Ricardo Terra Teixeira (Brazil), hailed the meeting as "important" and praised the sense of understanding, flexibility and solidarity shown by the clubs.

Other topics presented to the clubs included the international calendar, the release of players, insurance, the upcoming pilot phase of the FIFA Transfer Matching System, the revised Players' Agents Regulations which came into force as of 1 January 2008, amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and the drafting of National Dispute Resolution Chamber Standard Regulations based on the principles and procedures of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber with equal representation of players and clubs.

Clubs present at yesterday's meeting:
Urawa Red Diamonds, Japan
Etoile Sportive du Sahel, Tunisia
ASEC Mimosas, Côte d'Ivoire
River Plate, Argentina
Palmeiras, Brazil
Bayern Munich, Germany
DC United, USA
Waitakere United, New Zealand
Olympique Lyonnais, France
Real Madrid, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
AC Milan, Italy
Olympiacos, Greece
Jomo Cosmos, South Africa
Al Ahly, Egypt
Club América, Mexico
Atlético Nacional Medellín, Colombia
Club Universitario de Deportes, Peru

Excused:
Mohan Bagan AC, India
Manchester United, England
Chelsea FC, England