President’s Column: April 2013
© Getty Images

Dear member associations,
Dear friends,

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

In the spotlight

Symbolic launch of the FIFA museum
25 April

We are going ahead with our museum project! Instead of being built on the FIFA grounds as originally planned, this cultural attraction will be in the “Haus zur Enge” in Zurich-Enge. I officially launched the project at a bricklaying ceremony on 25 April.

The museum, which is expected to open its doors in April/May 2015, will be a true meeting place for football and its millions of fans from all over the world. I herewith extend a special thank you to everyone who has made this project possible.

On the road

Dominican Rep. opens CONCACAF tour
16 April

My CONCACAF tour began in the Dominican Republic, where I visited two FIFA Goal-funded projects: the recently reopened Estadio Panamericano de Fútbol and the San Cristóbal academy, where I laid the foundations for a new pitch. I also held fruitful talks with Dominican FA President Osiris Guzmán.

Second stop of CONCACAF tour: Haiti
16 April

Three years after the devastating earthquake, I visited Haiti where I pledged to further help boost the country’s football infrastructure with a new dedicated task force. It was agreed with President Michel Martelly that the group would consist of representatives of FIFA, CONCACAF, the Haitian FA and the Haitian government.

100 years of football in Cuba
17 April

In Cuba, I paid tribute to 100 years of football in the country and visited various FIFA-supported development projects. I had an interesting meeting with President Raúl Castro, and also held talks with INDER President Christian Jiménez Molina and the Cuban Olympic Committee President José Fernández on topics such as football, education and health.

CONCACAF Congress in Panama concludes tour
18-19 April

I attended the CONCACAF Congress in Panama City, where confederation President Jeffrey Webb (Cayman Islands) was confirmed as a FIFA Vice-President, while Sunil Gulati (USA) was elected as a FIFA Executive Committee member.

In Panama, I also attended the second semi-final of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship, with the hosts beating Canada to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the second consecutive time. The success of Panama’s youth teams is a result of the development work of the Panamanian FA. I was also at the opening of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Congress and the opening of the FIFA Goal-funded Panamanian FA headquarters.


At the Home of FIFA

Visit of IOC member Rita Subowo
2 April

It was a pleasure to welcome Indonesian IOC member Rita Subowo to the Home of FIFA and hold talks on various issues. Ms Subowo is also a member of the Olympic Council of Asia’s Executive Board and served as secretary general and president of the National Olympic Committee of Indonesia.

Microsoft President at FIFA headquarters
3 April

It was equally enjoyable to meet the President of Microsoft International, Jean-Philippe Courtois, who paid a courtesy visit to the Home of FIFA in Zurich.

Development Officer Seminar / General Coordinator Workshop at FIFA
9 April

On 9 April, I had the pleasure of opening both a workshop for the FIFA General Coordinators as well as a seminar for the FIFA Development Officers, thus tackling two main pillars of FIFA: international competitions and football development.

Symposium:  The FIFA World Cup™ and its worldwide impact
22 April

The Home of FIFA hosted academic scholars and experts at a four-day symposium to discuss and debate the various impacts of each of the 19 FIFA World Cups™ staged to date. The competitions were examined individually and panel discussions were held on topics ranging from the pre-war tournaments to the multiculturalism and commercialisation of the past two decades.

New Sri Lankan FA President in Zurich
25 April

I was delighted to meet Ranjith Rodrigo, the newly elected President of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL). Formerly an aspiring footballer himself, Mr Rodrigo has been working for the FFSL in various roles since 1996.

Korea FA delegation at FIFA
23 April

A delegation from the Korea FA paid a courtesy visit to FIFA. I had the honour of receiving the new President Mong Gyu Chung and Vice-President Dong Dae Kim.

McDonald’s International Sports Workshop
24 April

Among the many events taking place at the Home of FIFA in April was the McDonald’s International Sports workshop, at which I had the honour of speaking the opening words.

Maldives FA President at Home of FIFA
25 April

It was a pleasure to hold talks with Maldives FA President Ilham Ahmed and welcome him to the Home of FIFA.

Delegation from Chad at Home of FIFA
29 April

My last official visit of the month was from a delegation from Chad to the Home of FIFA, which included the Minister of Youth and Sports Mahamat Adoum and FA President Mahamoud Moctar, 2nd Vice-President Kadre Saleh Kana and General Secretary Djibrine Mahamat Dembelle. I was particularly interested to hear of their plans to launch a radio show through the PERFORMANCE Programme.


Other events

Early Warning System (EWS) Congress
5 April

It was an honour to open the Sports, Business and Ethics – a Situation Analysis Congress organised by FIFA subsidiary EWS. At this event at the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, representatives of sports clubs, governments, sponsors and the betting industry discussed a wide range of topics relating to ethics in sport.

FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence award
17 April

The global network of FIFA Medical Centres of Excellence has a new member: the Clairefontaine Medical Centre in France. The award was handed over by Dr Michel D’Hooghe, chairman of the FIFA Medical Committee, to Prof. Pierre Rochcongar, FFF doctor, and Noël le Graët, FFF President.

Half-time in Mozambique
17 April

The Manica Football for Hope Centre is the latest to open its doors as part of FIFA’s on-going 20 Centres for 2010 campaign, which is creating 20 Football for Hope Centres across Africa as one of the lasting social legacies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Combining football facilities with classrooms, computer equipment and public health lessons, the centres are intended to make a tangible difference to disadvantaged communities.

Brazil 2014 Referees Seminar in Dubai
23 April

AFC and OFC refereeing teams shortlisted for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ attended a training seminar organised by FIFA in Dubai.

A total of 27 participants from 13 different countries, divided into nine different trios, were put through their paces. Seven were from the AFC and two from the OFC. Referees such as Ravshan Irmatov, Yuichi Nishimura, Ben Williams and Peter O’Leary were in attendance.


Did you know that…

FIFA has opened the bidding process for five competitions in 2016 and 2017. The 209 member associations have been invited to submit their interest in hosting the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women’s World Cups in 2016, the FIFA U-20 and U-17 World Cups in 2017, and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2017.

FIFA now has its state-of-the-art own broadcasting studio for the production and distribution of high-quality communications content. At FIFA, we can now record and edit footage such as speeches, statements and news, and feed these to worldwide communication channels. 


Looking ahead

• AFC Extraordinary Congress and AFC Ordinary Congress, Kuala Lumpur, 2-3 May

• Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup 2013
Zurich, 8-9 May

• UEFA Congress
London, 24 May

• UEFA Champions League final
London, 25 May

• Executive Committee meeting
Mauritius, 28 May

• CONMEBOL Congress
Mauritius, 29 May

• OFC Congress
Mauritius, 29-30 May

• FIFA Congress
Mauritius, 30-31 May

 

For the Game. For the World.

PS: Stay up to date with my visits and thoughts by following me on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/seppblatter