President's Column: July 2012
© Foto-net

Dear member associations,
Dear friends,

Welcome to the July edition of the President’s message. It has been another busy month marked by several milestone events.

In the spotlight

Special meeting of the IFAB
5 July
At a Special Meeting in Zurich on 5 July, the IFAB unanimously agreed to the use of goal-line technology, subject to the provisions of the FIFA Quality Programme for GLT. At the same time, the board agreed that the introduction of technology would apply to the goal line only. The board also unanimously approved the use of additional assistant referees and agreed to allow the wearing of headscarves on a trial basis until 2014. All three decisions are non-mandatory and competition-specific, meaning that it will be up to competition organisers to decide whether to allow these items.

Official Draw for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012
6 July
The 16 qualified nations discovered the identity of their rivals in the group phase, with Azerbaijan facing Colombia in Baku in the opening match on 22 September.

Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting
17 July
The FIFA Executive Committee took another major step this month by unanimously approving the new FIFA Code of Ethics and appointing Michael J Garcia as the chairman of the investigatory chamber and Hans-Joachim Eckert as the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee. The executive also appointed the members of the two chambers of this newly structured body, which began work on 25 July. This was also the first time that a woman member, Lydia Nsekera of Burundi, had attended a FIFA Executive Committee meeting, following her appointment at the Congress 2012 in Budapest.

On the road

UEFA EURO 2012 finals
27 June – 1 July
Congratulations to UEFA and President Michel Platini as well as the host countries Poland and Ukraine for a truly excellent event. Spain wrote history by winning an unprecedented hat-trick and I look forward to seeing both Spain and Italy competing at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013.

Olympic Football Tournaments London 2012
25 July – 11 August
I am thrilled to be attending the Olympic Games in London, especially given that the football tournaments are featuring a host of high-calibre players such as Neymar, Marta, Hope Solo, Ryan Giggs and Luis Suárez.

At the Home of FIFA

Belarusian children visit the HoF
Children severely affected by radioactive contamination in Belarus enjoyed a visit to FIFA this month organised by Tschernobylhilfe Hardwald. I was delighted to meet the children and enjoyed their tremendous enthusiasm.

FIFA hosts Zurich schools tournament

7 July
We had the great pleasure to host the 75th annual football tournament for Zurich schools at the Home of FIFA. It is important to me that FIFA, as a long-term resident of Zurich, is also committed to supporting the local community, especially when this involves children and football.

FIFA Master students graduate
20 July
Congratulations to the 29 FIFA Master students who graduated on 20 July! The graduates include former Palestine women’s national team captain Honey Thaljieh and Tracy Lu, a member of the FIFA Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup™. The FIFA Master is ranked as the leading postgraduate sports management course in Europe.
Visitors to the Home of FIFA

It was a pleasure to receive the following guests, amongst many others, at the HoF:

• The President of the Burkina Faso Football Association, Sita Sangare, on 3 July
Placido Domingo on 4 July

Condolences

My sincere condolences go to the friends and family of all those who have lost loved ones this month, including:

• Former Scottish striker Joe McBride
• Said Al Shamsi (Oman), board member of Oman Football Association
• Moses G. Dargba (Liberia), executive member of Liberia Football Association
• Arjuna Luiz Venutto Ramos (Brazil), 17-year-old football player who tragically suffered sudden cardiac arrest
• Vladimir Hrinak (Slovakia), former international referee
• Jack Taylor, former international referee
• Abdulkader Dheere Hussein, Somali U-17 national team goalkeeper

Did you know that…

… Nelson Mandela celebrated his 94th birthday on 18 July.
… FIFA Vice-President David Chung OBE turned 50 this month.
…on 10 July, a year after independence, South Sudan played their first officially sanctioned football game as a national team.

Looking ahead

• Olympic Football Tournaments
25 July – 11 August
• Partnership launch event with Kick It Out
31 July
• Holy Month of Ramadan
20 July – 18 August
• FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan
19 August – 8 September

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