President's Column: November 2012
© Foto-net

Dear member associations,
Dear friends,

Welcome to the November edition of the President’s message.

In the spotlight

FIFA Ballon d’Or press conference
29 November

The contenders for the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player of 2012 and the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2012 award were recently announced in São Paulo.

In alphabetical order, the FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees are Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Andrés Iniesta, Spain, and Lionel Messi, Argentina, while Marta, Brazil, Alex Morgan, USA, and Abby Wambach, USA, will contest the women’s award. The candidates for the FIFA World Coach of the Year awards are Vicente del Bosque (Spain), Pep Guardiola (formerly FC Barcelona) and José Mourinho (Real Madrid) for men’s football, and Bruno Bini (France), Norio Sasaki (Japan) and Pia Sundhage (USA, now Sweden) for women’s football.

All the nominees were confirmed after a poll in which the captains and head coaches of men’s and women’s national teams, as well as international media representatives selected by France Football, voted for candidates.

Final matches of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Thailand 2012
18 November

I recently flew to Bangkok for a weekend, especially to see the final matches of this successful event, which I thoroughly enjoyed! I congratulate Brazil on defending their crown in style with an impressive performance in an extraordinarily exciting match against a strong Spanish side. Brazil have amassed five titles and are the most successful nation in international futsal.

Unity against discrimination
10 November

FIFA took the opportunity to underline football’s united stance against all forms of discrimination ahead of the round-of-16 match between Spain and Thailand at the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The captains of both teams read a statement rejecting discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, ethnic origin, religion and sexuality.

On the road

FIFA Goal project at St. George’s Park
21 November

I had the pleasure of travelling to England to inaugurate a FIFA Goal project worth USD 500,000 that will go towards The FA’s Medical & Sports Science Centre at their new technical centre at St. George’s Park. My visit also saw the signature of a memorandum of understanding between FIFA and The FA to strengthen our partnership in the area of development. In the photo above, I am pictured with, from right to left: The FA Chairman David Bernstein, St. George’s Park Chairman David Sheepshanks and FIFA Chief Medical Officer Jiri Dvorak.

90th birthday of Günther Furrer
26 November

I was honoured to personally congratulate Günther Furrer on his 90th birthday recently. Günther is a former FIFA employee who pioneered the production of FIFA’s technical reports on tournaments by working on some of the very first editions. He is also a former editor-in-chief of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, covering the FIFA World Cups in 1962, 1966 and 1970, as well as a former press officer of FC Zurich and the author of numerous publications, including FIFA 1904-1984 celebrating our 80th anniversary.


At the Home of FIFA

FIFA Security Division workshop
1 November

At the end of October, the FIFA Security Division held a workshop in Zurich to brief more than 25 FIFA Security Officers on the new FIFA Stadium Security and Safety Regulations, which are awaiting the approval of the FIFA Executive Committee. Other topics addressed included the fight against match-fixing.


Sports experts meet to discuss concussion
1-2 November

International sports experts representing the IOC, FIFA and other international sports federations met at the Home of FIFA for the Fourth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport. The objective of the two-day event was to discuss and find a consensus on the best way to manage and prevent cases of concussion in sport.


Prospective assistant referees’ seminar
5-9 November

The road to the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM continued with a seminar in Zurich for assistant referees from Asia, North America, South America and Oceania. In my opening speech, I gave an insight into the latest changes concerning referees, most notably the introduction of goal-line-technology.

FIFA Football Committee convenes at the Home of FIFA
16 November

The FIFA Football Committee, chaired by FIFA Executive Committee member Michel Platini, held a very constructive meeting under its new composition. Its new mandate is to tackle issues threatening football such as match-fixing, and to deal with the structure and development of the game as well as issues directly related to the game itself. Franz Beckenbauer and Pelé have joined the group as special advisers.

Fabrice Muamba a welcome guest at the Home of FIFA
20 November

I was thrilled to welcome former Bolton Wanderers FC midfielder Fabrice Muamba and a delegation from the English club to FIFA. It is such a pleasure to see that Fabrice is well again following the serious cardiac arrest he suffered in a match against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year and which led to his retirement from the sport. We discussed the incident and what can be done to help in similar situations in the future.

“Handshake for Peace” delegation at FIFA
22 November

FIFA and Nobel Peace Centre (NPC) representatives met in Zurich to discuss various elements of their cooperation around the “Handshake for Peace” programme. Both FIFA and the NPC are committed to using the game and, in particular, FIFA competitions such as the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup to highlight fair play and respect among participants. The NPC delegation included its director Bente Erichsen and Kjetil Siem, the General Secretary of the Norwegian FA.

Other visitors to the Home of FIFA:
It was a pleasure to receive the following guests, among others, at the Home of FIFA:

• President of the Malaysian FA and AFC Vice-President HRH Tengku Abdullah
• President of the Chilean FA Sergio Jadue
• Moya Dodd, Australia, AFC Vice-President and Australian FA official

Other events

End of second CIES edition in Spain
1 November

The 45 students of the second edition of the FIFA/CIES programme, which was organised in cooperation with the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, graduated at a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Spanish Football Association, which has been a partner of the CIES since 2010.

 FIFA joins in Palestinian commemorations
1 November

Palestine has been ravaged by conflict throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Nevertheless, FIFA’s aid has helped football make significant progress throughout the territory in recent years. Executive Committee member Lydia Nsekera led a FIFA delegation to Ramallah to celebrate the three-year anniversary of the first women’s international played on home soil.

“FIFA 11+” takes centre stage in Bangkok
4 November

The “FIFA 11+” warm-up programme was the subject of a workshop held at Bangkok Hospital and broadcast throughout Thailand. Coaches, assistant coaches, exercise specialists, sports scientists, nurses and physiotherapists were among those attending.

Anti-Corruption Conference in Brasilia
7-10 November

Identifying, disrupting and preventing the infiltration of organised crime into the world’s most popular sport was the focus of a panel session organised by INTERPOL’s Integrity in Sport unit at the 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). Focusing on match-fixing and irregular betting, panelists addressed the question of how to block the entry of illicit networks into football at all levels, from amateur local matches to major international competitions.

 International Football Arena event
12 November

It was a pleasure for me to speak on the subject of “Those who never take risks will never have a chance” at the International Football Arena (IFA) conference at the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich. The IFA has been hosting events, fostering debate and inspiring exchanges between decision-makers in the world of football for over a decade.

Ethiopia hosts workshop for Football for Hope Centres
20-22 November

Delegates from all 20 Football for Hope (FFH) Centres, which were built under the campaign for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, met in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, for the fifth FFH host workshop. It was the first time that all 20 host centre representatives had met for a round-table workshop to share their experiences.

Did you know that…

… the FIFA Development Globe, an online application created to help users visualise FIFA’s development work across the world, has been made available on FIFA.com.


Condolences

My sincere condolences go to the friends and family of all those who have passed away this month, including:

• Théophile Abega, Cameroon, former international midfielder
• Four Polokwane City players, South Africa, killed in a road accident
• José “Cheíto” Martínez, Venezuela, national futsal team player
• Liso Sitoto, South Africa, Makana FA Championship winner
• Ivor Powell, Wales, former Wales international and record-breaking coach
• Georges Van Straelen, France, former FC Nantes player
• Mohammed Nouriddeen, Bahrain, former Al Najma player
• Guy Chambily, France, former Caen President
• Michel Bojko, France, former Reims player
• Jan Louwers, Netherlands, former PSV and Roda JC player
• Max Obispo, France, former Bordeaux player
• Jimmy Stephen, Scotland, former Portsmouth and Scotland player
• Athmane Nourine, Algeria, former USM Alger player
• Vic Mees, Belgium, former Belgian international player
• Alex Alves, Brazil, former Hertha Berlin player
• Manuel Peña, Spain, former Real Valladolid, Real Zaragoza and Spanish U-21 player
• Four Kola FC players, Kenya, killed in a road accident
• Kenny Morgans, Wales, former Manchester United player and “Busby Babe”
• Dave Sexton, England, former Chelsea and England U-21 manager

Looking ahead

• Official Draw for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013, São Paulo, Brazil
1 December

• FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012
6-16 December

• Meeting week, Tokyo, Japan
13-14 December

• FIFA Executive Committee meeting, Tokyo, Japan
14 December


Follow President Blatter on Twitter

PS: Stay up to date with the FIFA President’s visits and thoughts by following him on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/seppblatter