President's Column: June 2012
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Dear member associations,

Dear friends,

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
3 June
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
4 June
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!
12 June
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
14-15 June
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
15-17 June
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
4 June
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
6 June
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
20 June
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

Condolences

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.

Looking ahead

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