President's Column: August 2012
© AFP

Dear member associations, dear friends,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the August edition of the President’s message!

In the spotlight

Olympic Football Tournaments in London
25 July – 11 August
London 2012 was a wonderful event and a major success for our beautiful game, with more than 1.5 million fans watching the men’s matches and 660,000 at the women’s tournament. In fact, football accounted for a quarter of all Olympic ticket sales.

Women’s Olympic Football Tournament final
9 August
The US women collected their fourth Olympic football gold medal at London 2012 after defeating Japan 2-1 in a thrilling match at Wembley Stadium. Canada beat France 1-0 for the bronze medal.

Men’s Olympic Football Tournament final
11 August
Mexico beat Brazil 2-1 in front of a crowd of 86,162 at Wembley to claim their first Olympic gold medal in another exciting match. Meanwhile Korea Republic defeated Japan 2-0 to take bronze.

Launch event with Kick It Out at Wembley Stadium in London
31 July
KICK RACISM OUT OF FOOTBALL
'Kick It Out' and FIFA officially launched a partnership to tackle all forms of discrimination, exclusion and inequalities in the sport. FIFA will work alongside the Kick It Out campaign to stress the importance of discipline, fair play and respect on the pitch and in everyday life.

Other events

FIFA women’s Com-Unity seminars
August 2012
Two Com-Unity seminars were successfully staged in the Caribbean countries of Saint Lucia and St. Kitts and Nevis in August to raise awareness for women’s football and generate ideas for development. Seminar participants included representatives from the respective FAs, communities, governments, media and other relevant organisations.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012
19 August–8 September
The tournament kicked off at the Miyagi Stadium with a colourful opening ceremony prior to Japan’s impressive 4-1 win over Mexico. I am looking forward to attending the final matches in Tokyo.

Official Draw for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012
24 August
The official draw took place in Bangkok, Thailand, and Thailand 2012 promises to be an exciting tournament. This is the seventh edition of the event and, for the first time, there are 24 teams in six groups.

FIFA Integrity in Sport Workshop in Johannesburg
25 August
At a workshop conducted by FIFA in cooperation with INTERPOL, eight African football associations spent two productive days discussing methods of tackling match-fixing and corruption in football. In the end, they resolved to strengthen their preventive measures and lobby governments to enact better legislation to deal with the issue.

15th Sepp Blatter Football Tournament in Ulrichen
26 August
More than 1,000 people showed up to the 15th edition of the Sepp Blatter Tournament last weekend in my native canton of Valais, and it once again turned out to be an exciting event. Among the many prominent guests and former international players participating in the tournament, which is organised every year in my honour by the region of Obergoms, were Franz Beckenbauer and Ottmar Hitzfeld.

'Live Your Goals' Festival in Japan
13 August
Japan hosted its third 'Live Your Goals' festival for girls between the ages of six and 12 from the Fukushima prefecture that was hit by the tsunami, earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster in 2011. “Live Your Goals” aims to develop women’s football across the globe and is an essential part of the legacy programme for Japan.

At the Home of FIFA

Member Association Extranet Workshop
29 August
Thirteen representatives from various member associations attended a workshop at the Home of FIFA intended to strengthen skills in this tool.


Visitors to the Home of FIFA:

It was a pleasure to receive the following guests, among others, at the HoF:
• New Liechtenstein FA President Matthias Voigt
• Members of the FIFPro leadership Leonardo Grosso, Philippe Piat and Theo van Seggelen

Condolences
My sincere condolences go to the friends and family of all those who have lost loved ones this month, including:
• Hans Nowak, former German international player and marketing manager of FC Bayern Munich
• Fans of Angolan club Kabuscorp killed (23) and injured (29) in a bus crash
• Abdulkader Dheere, Somalia’s U-17 goalkeeper
• Jean-Yves Valentini, former Swiss international player
• Charly Hertig, former Swiss international player
• Yvonne Anouma, mother of Jacques Anouma, FIFA Executive Committee member
• Felix Mielli Venerando, former Brazilian goalkeeper and winner of the 1970 FIFA World Cup
• Ivan 'Ivica' Horvat, former Yugoslavian international player and coach in Germany

Did you know that…
… according to a study by F-MARC, footballers are taking more painkillers and as such are risking their health. FIFA, IOC and WADA have joined forces to conduct further research into this topic and make recommendations.

… the new FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee held its first meeting under the chairmanship of Domenico Scala at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on 10 August.

… FIFA Vice-President Issa Hayatou turned 66 on 9 August.
… FIFA Executive Committee member Hany Abo Rida turned 59 on 14 August.
… FIFA honorary member León Londoño Tamayo turned 83 on 31 August.
Happy Birthday!

Looking ahead
• CAF extraordinary general assembly, Mahé, Seychelles, 3 Sept 2012
• Final matches of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012
• Visit to the Football Association of Moldova
19-20 Sept 2012
• Opening of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012
22 Sept 2012
• FIFA meeting week, Zurich
24-28 Sept 2012
• Executive Committee meeting, Zurich
27-28 Sept 2012

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