Dear member associations,
Welcome to the June edition of the President’s message. It is my pleasure to update you on another busy month of activities and events.
In the spotlight
Excitement at Borgonovo tournament
For the fourth year, the Stefano Borgonovo Foundation international youth tournament took place near Milan. The former Italian striker suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). FIFA has arranged for his book Attacante nato (“Born striker”) to be translated into German and English.
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Draw
The 16 nations qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2012 watched eagerly as their opponents for the group stage of the tournament were revealed in Tokyo on 4 June.
2014 FIFA World Cup™ – two years to go!
Tuesday, 12 June marked two years until the kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. Qualification is in full swing, with over a third of the 820 matches having been played already.
On the road
Visit to Uruguay
I had a wonderful trip to Uruguay where I received a truly warm reception – especially from the Swiss community in Nueva Helvecia! I had the honour of opening the Win in CONMEBOL with CONMEBOL pitch at the Celeste Elite Training Centre before awarding national coach Óscar Tabárez with the FIFA Order of Merit.
Anniversary celebration in Chile
I enjoyed an unforgettable gala evening hosted by the Chilean National Association of Professional Football (ANFP) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1962 FIFA World Cup™. I was also humbled to receive two awards, the Golden Star of Chilean Football from the ANFP as well as the Commander of the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins, which was presented by the Vice-President of Chile, Rodrigo Hinzpeter.
At the Home of FIFA
FIFA meets the Opera
Alexander Pereira, the Director of the Zurich Opera, will leave his position shortly to seek pastures new. On behalf of FIFA, I presented him with a number 7 jersey, after which a friendly game was played between the Opera and FIFA.
FIFA honours Arthur Wharton
The Arthur Wharton Foundation visited the Home of FIFA to officially hand over a statue of the world’s first black professional footballer that FIFA has bought.
Development activities at the HoF
A Grassroots Instructors Seminar and a Festival for Children was held at the HoF. It always gives me great satisfaction to see the FIFA facilities full of children, practising their skills.
Special visitors to the Home of FIFA
It was a pleasure to receive the following guests at the HoF:
The President and General Secretary of the Football Association of Serbia, Tomislav Karadžić and Zoran Laković, on 31 May
The President of the Turkish Football Association, Yildirim Demirören, on 6 June
Franz Beckenbauer on 21 June
My sincere condolences go to the friends and family of all those who have lost loved ones this month, including:
Former President of the Syrian Football Association Marawan Arafat
HRH Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Nayef Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Former coach of Greece and the USA Alketas Panagoulias
Nélida Pariani de Grondona, wife of FIFA Senior Vice-President Julio Grondona
Did you know that…
… Michel Platini, Dr Theo Zwanziger and Dr Viacheslav Koloskov all celebrated birthdays this month. Happy birthday!
… The Official Slogan of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan was presented on 4 June. “HOPE LEADS” was jointly developed by FIFA and the Local Organising Committee.
UEFA EURO 2012 final matches
IFAB special meeting – 5 July
Official Draw for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 – 6 July
FIFA Executive Committee extraordinary meeting – 17 July
Beginning of Ramadan – 20 July
Olympic Football Tournaments –
25 July – 11 August
For the Game. For the World.
PS: Stay up to date with the FIFA President’s visits and thoughts by following him on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/seppblatter