President's Column: June 2013

Dear member associations,
Dear friends,

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

In the spotlight
FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 final matches
30 June
Brazil won an impressive record third successive FIFA Confederations Cup after beating world and European champions Spain 3-0 in a magnificent final match at the iconic Maracanã stadium. Without a doubt, the star of the show was Neymar, who followed in the footsteps of Adriano (2005) and Kaká (2009) by winning the adidas Golden Ball. Earlier on the final day, extra time and penalties were needed for Italy to overcome Uruguay in the memorable match for third place. It wasn’t just a festival of champions, but a festival of football which has set the stage for next year’s FIFA World Cup™.

FIFA and finalists' solidarity with Mandela
30 June

Shortly before the final of the FIFA Confederations Cup, an extraordinary gesture of friendship and fair play took place as I was joined by CAF President Issa Hayatou, Brazilian FA President José Maria Marin and Spanish FA President Ángel María Villar Llona in a special presentation ceremony. Shirts signed by the two finalists were presented to Tokyo Sexwale, who was representing the Nelson Mandela Foundation and is a close friend of Madiba. The shirts will be presented to him upon Tokyo’s return to South Africa.

FIFA Football for Hope Forum
26-29 June

This year’s Football for Hope Forum in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, brought together over 200 leaders and actors in the football for development movement, representing organisations and projects from over 50 different nations, to network, learn and above all be inspired by each other’s ideas. The workshops covered an extraordinary range of topics: from promoting gender equality to how to develop a communications strategy.

Ten years since death of Marc-Vivien Foé
26 June
The FIFA Confederations Cup 2003 was overshadowed by the tragic death of Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foé, who died on 26 June shortly after collapsing during the Indomitable Lions’ semi-final against Colombia. One of the resulting developments since then is the introduction of a new FIFA Medical Emergency Bag (FMEB), which will be issued to all 209 of our member associations. The FMEB backpack was recently presented at the Congress.

FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013
21 June

I recently travelled to Turkey for the 19th edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, where I attended the spectacular opening ceremony at the Kadir Has Stadium in Kayseri before watching the Cuba v. Korea Republic and Portugal v. Nigeria matches along with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

On the road
Visit to Serbia
12 June
I recently paid an official visit to Serbia, where I was welcomed by the President of the Football Association of Serbia, Tomislav Karadžić. I also met Serbia’s Prime Minister, Ivica Dačić, and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Alisa Marić, to discuss football development in Serbia and the situation of Kosovo. We also visited the Goal-funded National Technical Centre of the Serbian FA in Stara Pazova that was opened in May 2011.

At the Home of FIFA
Visit of Solidar Suisse delegation
24 June
In response to the current situation in Brazil, a delegation from the Solidar Suisse organisation, led by director Esther Maurer, came to hand over a petition demanding that fairness be at the heart of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

International Committee of the Red Cross
7 June
I was delighted to meet Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), at the Home of FIFA on Friday 7 June. We agreed to look at developing areas of joint cooperation and how to harness the social power of football as a catalyst to promote public health.

Other events
FIFA/AFC Futsal Seminar
13 June
A four-day FIFA/AFC Futsal Seminar on the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2012 legacy for Asia was held in Kuala Lumpur on 13 June, aimed at providing a platform on which to exchange information in order to develop futsal on the continent, and to update the coaches and instructors with modern methods in the five-a-side game.

One year to 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
12 June
The countdown to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ officially began on Wednesday 12 June. Simultaneous events in the cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia celebrated the unveiling of a clock marking the time remaining to the opening game of Brazil 2014. The Rio event, held on Copacabana Beach, was graced by the presence of three-time FIFA World Cup™ winner Pelé. Four teams recently joined hosts Brazil in qualifying for the tournament: congratulations to Japan, Australia, Iran and Korea Republic, and good luck to those teams still hoping to qualify.

FIFA supports Syrian refugees
7 June
A five-day grassroots course was held at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan’s second largest city, ending on 7 June. The course was run in cooperation with the Jordan Football Association and the HRH Prince Ali Grassroots Center. Through the initiative, instructors were taught key organisational and technical aspects of grassroots football, thus empowering them to develop a series of tailor-made activities for Syrian youngsters.

Honorary Freedom of Port Louis
1 June
I was privileged to receive the Honorary Freedom of the City of Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, just a few hours before leaving the wonderful Indian Ocean island, where we had our 63rd Congress on 30 and 31 May.

Did you know that…
Following the successful use of goal-line technology in association football for the first time at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012, FIFA decided to use this technology at its major tournaments, including the recent FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 where the camera-based GoalControl system was used in all six stadiums in Brazil. It will be used in the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time in next year’s edition in Brazil.

Vanishing spray is being used at a FIFA competition for the first time, with referees testing it during the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013. The spray is aimed at giving match officials the opportunity to mark a line on which the defending team must line up its defensive wall before a free-kick is taken.

The medical centre HOME (Hospital for Orthopedics and Specialised Medicine) in Brasilia was officially inaugurated as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence on Friday, 14 June 2013. HOME was founded four years ago to offer treatment of diseases of the locomotor system.

FIFA launched biological profiling at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013, a method of detecting the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Every player from all participating teams had to undergo blood and urine tests prior to the competition for the purpose of the biological profile.

6 June 2013 marked exactly two years until the opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. On that opening day of 6 June 2015, two matches will be played at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, with hosts Canada among the teams in action. Good luck to the teams aiming to qualify.

Looking ahead

• Visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel 
6-8 July

• FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 
21 June - 13 July

• CONCACAF Gold Cup USA 2013
7-28 July

• Final matches of CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores  
17 and 24 July

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