FIFA President addresses UEFA Congress
© AFP

FIFA President Blatter today completed a four-day Central Asia trip in Astana, Kazakhstan, where he delivered a speech at the XXXVIII UEFA Congress.

In his message, Blatter praised the exceptional development of football in Europe and the success of its national teams at FIFA competitions.

FIFA and UEFA are “together in solidarity”, he mentioned, while reinforcing the importance of having a global approach to find common solutions to problems facing football. He also referred to the extent to which FIFA has played its part in developing football across Europe.

He said: “125 FIFA Goal projects have been carried out in UEFA's member association since 1999.” Indeed, the only FIFA European member associations with no Goal project to date are Italy and Sweden.

Blatter also acknowledged UEFA’s contribution to football’s world governing body’s reform process and stressed the concrete measures adopted already within this process's scope. These include the creation of a new two-chamber Ethics Committee and an Audit Compliance Committee, as well as resolutions against racism and discrimination, match manipulation, and the inclusion of a full female member on the FIFA Executive Committee.

"I'm very happy that UEFA is now entering in full swing the fight against match manipulation because the decisions taken by the FIFA Congress have to be implemented at national association level,” he added. “This also concerns confederations."

Furthermore, the FIFA President highlighted the importance of working together to address key issues, including the regulation of players’ agents and third party ownership. In this regard, FIFA’s Executive Committee recently approved the new Regulations on Working with Intermediaries. On the complex topic of third-party ownership of players’ economic rights, FIFA has mandated two studies in order to further support the discussions at different levels of the European and international football community, as well as within the relevant FIFA standing committees.

The FIFA President’s journey in Central Asia also included stops in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, where he opened Goal projects and met with sporting and political authorities.