Blatter: Work hard, love football
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FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has sent a statement to FIFA's 208 Member Associations and the football family worldwide about his activities during the month of February.

"The month began with a trip to the CONMEBOL Extraordinary Congress in Asuncion, Paraguay, the main theme of which was the independence and autonomy of the member associations.

Shortly after my return to Zurich I learned of the tragic incident in Port Said, following which I requested a full report into what happened. At the same time, FIFA also donated USD 250,000 in support for the victims’ families.

This month I also wrote to Italian player Simone Farina, inviting him to become a Football for Hope Ambassador. As you will recall, I paid a special tribute to Simone at the FIFA Ballon d’Or for his brave stand against match-fixing.

I then travelled to the CAF Congress in Gabon, which similarly called for the protection of the continent’s sports movement and officials, and also witnessed Zambia’s famous victory in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations 2012. Truly there are no better stories than those written by football – stories of hope and redemption that transcend our sport.

The third week in February saw me welcome all the new and returning committee members to Zurich for an intensive round of meetings. As a result of the new composition, the FIFA standing committees and bodies now contain representatives of all 208 member associations.

Over the past month I have also met the new Presidents of the football associations of Rwanda, Portugal and the Czech Republic, to whom I wished all the best in their important positions.

In addition, I have recently had the pleasure of meeting other leading members from the world of sport, politics, the media and law enforcement, namely IOC member and President of Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Associated Press Vice-President Lou Ferrara, Polish Minister of Sport Joanna Mucha, European Broadcasting Union President Jean-Paul Philippot and Director General Ingrid Deltenre, and INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K Noble.

I also had a glimpse of the future of football last week when I welcomed 90 U-11 players from 12 countries and three continents to FIFA prior to the Swiss Masters Aargau (SUI) tournament.

Finally, this month also saw the third round of meeting of the Task Forces and the Independent Governance Committee as the reform process continues to move forward.

As you can see, “Work hard, love football” continues to be my motto – one which I know you share – and I wish you all the best with your activities, particularly in the friendly matches this Wednesday.

For the Game. For the World."