President's Column: May 2012
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Dear member associations,
Dear friends,

Welcome to the May edition of the President’s message, which brings you an update on another busy month of activities and features the 62nd FIFA Congress.

In the spotlight
62nd FIFA Congress, Budapest
24-25 May
This was a historic FIFA Congress! The reform process was fully backed and we welcomed South Sudan as the 209th member of FIFA. I am thrilled that Lydia Nsekera, President of the Burundi FA, became the first-ever woman appointed to the Executive Committee. In addition, FIFA and the Nobel Peace Centre signed the 'Handshake for Peace' deal, under which everyone will shake hands directly after the final whistle.

FIFA Medical Conference, Budapest
23-24 May
The health and safety of players is a priority for FIFA, which is why I personally asked for the topic to be discussed at the FIFA Medical Conference. In addition, the FIFA Congress agreed that automatic external defibrillators will be made available at football matches worldwide.

Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2012
16-17 May
FC Zurich defeated local rivals Grasshopper Club 2-0 to clinch the title at this prestigious youth tournament. Third and fourth place went to Zenit St Petersburg and TP Mazembe respectively. Congratulations!

On the road
42nd St Gallen Symposium
3 May
This symposium aims to foster intercultural dialogue between the leaders of today and tomorrow. I was delighted to give a speech entitled Taking Risk – a Chance?!

Canadian FA centenary celebrations
4-5 May
It was an honour to join the centenary festivities of the Canadian FA, as well as to attend the announcement of the six Host Cities of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™, which will see the field expand from 16 to 24 teams.

Visit to Uzbekistan
15-16 May
During my visit to Uzbekistan, I was impressed with the country’s football development work. The Uzbekistan Football Federation is clearly committed to organising a FIFA competition.

Meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee
22 May
The FIFA Executive Committee convened in Budapest ahead of the 62nd FIFA Congress.

New CONCACAF President
24 May
Congratulations to Jeffrey Webb, who was elected CONCACAF President at the confederation’s extraordinary congress in Budapest, and is now a FIFA Vice-President.

At the Home of FIFA
2014 FIFA World Cup™ summit, Zurich
8 May
FIFA, the LOC and the Brazilian government met to discuss the status of preparations for 2014 and plotted its first road map. The foundations were laid for achieving our joint goal of staging a fantastic FIFA World Cup™.

Some visitors to the Home of FIFA
It was a pleasure to receive the following guests at the HoF:
• Oman FA President H.E. Sayyid Khalid bin Hamad Al Busaidi
• Tunisian FA President Wadi El Jeri
• Tunisian Ambassador in Switzerland
• Delegation from FC Santos
• FIFA/CIES Network Prize winners Sonia Herrero Calvo and Isabel Garcia Blanco
• General Coordinators attending their workshop

Condolences
My sincere condolences go to the friends and family of:
• Former Netherlands coach Georg Knobel
• Former Nigerian striker Rasheed Yekini
• Former Senegalese striker Jules Bocande
• Former USOC chairman LeRoy Walker
• Roman Lungu, a 16-year-old Moldovan footballer
• Former Turkish FA President Ali Uras
• Former Liberian FA women’s team coach E. Nora Neal
• Former Finnish FA General Secretary Erkki Poroila

Did you know that…
…FIFA, the LOC and the Brazilian government presented 'All in one rhythm' ('Juntos num só ritmo') as the Official Slogan of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM on 29 May. Watch the Official Slogan video on youtube.com/fifatv and FIFA.com.

…FIFA was established in Paris 108 years ago on 21 May 1904 by representatives from Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

… Spain’s Alfonso Ramos is the new FIFA Interactive World Cup (FIWC) champion. Congratulations!

…The CIES or 'FIFA Master' was named one of Europe’s best postgraduate sports courses in a ranking carried out by SportBusiness.

…FIFA won Germany’s coveted prize in online communications for its’ 2010 e-Activity Report, beating off major industry giants.

Goal-line technology will be tested when England play host to Belgium on 2 June.

…Honorary FIFA President Joao Havelange turned 96 on 8 May. Happy birthday!

Looking ahead
• FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup draw
4 June
• UEFA EURO 2012
8 June – 1 July
• Visit to Chile and Uruguay
16-17 June
FIFA Executive Committee/Extraordinary Meeting – end of June
• IFAB Special Meeting
Beginning of July

For the Game. For the World.

PS: Stay up to date with the FIFA President’s visits and thoughts by following him on twitter.