President's Column: September 2013
© Foto-net

Dear member associations,
Dear friends,

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

In the spotlight
Follow-up meeting – Israel and Palestinian FAs
23 September
As part of the FIFA Task Force Israel-Palestine, the Israel and Palestine Football Associations held a working meeting to discuss modalities between both associations to facilitate the movement of persons and goods for football purposes in and out of and within Palestine. Israel Football Association (IFA) President Avi Luzon, Palestinian Football Association (PFA) President Jibril Al Rajoub, and representatives from FIFA, the AFC and UEFA took part in this meeting. The FIFA Task Force Israel-Palestine was established in early July, following the mandate I received during the 63rd FIFA Congress and my subsequent trip to the Middle East.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
18 September
The seventh edition of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup was a vibrant festival of sun, sand, acrobatics and jaw-dropping skill. Set among the precious coral reefs and volcanic rock of the southern Pacific Ocean, Tahiti provided a spectacular backdrop to a thrilling competition in a rapidly growing global game. The 16-team competition broke new ground as the first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Pacific Islands region and featured two Oceania nations – hosts Tahiti and the Solomon Islands.

Russia claimed their second consecutive title as “kings of the sand” after beating Spain in the final of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Tahiti meanwhile provided the tournament’s biggest surprise by reaching the semi-finals and only narrowly missed out on third place after losing to Brazil.

Meeting of the FIFA Task Force against Racism and Discrimination
12 September
At its second meeting since its creation in March 2013 and under the chairmanship of CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, the Task Force gathered at the Home of FIFA to focus on the implementation of the resolution on the fight and racism and discrimination passed by the FIFA Congress in May.

On the road
125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session, Buenos Aires
5-11 September
I was in Buenos Aires for the 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session where the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020 were awarded to Tokyo after they received 60 votes to Istanbul’s 36 in the final round. The session ended with the election of Thomas Bach (GER) as the ninth president in the 119-year history of the International Olympic Committee.

At the Home of FIFA
Gambia Football Association
24 September
I had the pleasure of receiving a delegation from the Gambia Football Federation, including new chairman Mustapha Kebbeh, to the Home of FIFA.  

Civil Service Football Club
4 September
I was delighted to welcome to the Home of FIFA a delegation from The FA’s sole surviving founder member, the Civil Service Football Club from London, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year.

Michael Owen
23 September
It was a pleasure to meet former England international Michael Owen during his visit to Zurich for an event with FIFA World Cup Sponsor™ Johnson & Johnson.

Fancoaching
26 September
I also had an interesting meeting with Steffen Knippertz, the man behind www.fancoaching.de, a wonderful idea that I am happy to support.

Other events
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ African qualifying competition
16 September
The ten African sides who reached the play-off stage of the African qualifying competition for the World Cup discovered their fate in a draw which took place at the Cairo headquarters of the Confederation of African Football. The ties will be played between 11-15 October 2013 and 15-19 November 2013.

OFC development seminar
16 September
A FIFA delegation headed by Secretary General Jérôme Valcke met with the board of the Oceania Football Confederation and delegations from its 11 member associations during a three-day seminar that finished in Auckland. The event kicked off a series of 11 development seminars to be organised by FIFA in all confederations.

“11 for Health” in Colombia
12 and 13 September
FIFA’s “11 for Health” programme played a central role in Colombia’s first-ever “Healthy Lifestyle Symposium” recently. The two-day event marked the start of the country’s “Healthy Lifestyle Week”. The objective was to promote a healthy lifestyle, with a view to creating favourable conditions in family, educational and working environments that lead to an improvement in public health.

Messi launches FIFA FIFPro World XI vote
13 September
Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi, as the current holder of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award, was again entrusted with officially kicking off the voting for the FIFA FIFPro World XI, which will see footballers across the globe choose the 11 players they believe have outperformed the rest in 2013. As usual, the announcement of the winners will be made at the FIFA Ballon d’Or, which will be held in Zurich on 13 January 2014.

FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour
12 September
The FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola has started an extensive 267-day journey, covering 89 countries. The official opening ceremony took place at the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the presence of champions from each of Brazil’s five FIFA World Cup™ wins – Mario Zagallo (1958), Amarildo (1962), Rivelino (1970), Bebeto (1994) and Marcos (2002).

Russia 2018 at G20 summit
5-6 September
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Committee Russia (LOC) staged an exhibition about Russia 2018 at the G20 summit, which took place in Saint Petersburg on 5-6 September.

Did you know that…

On 18 October 2013, Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) and CIES will organise a conference in Buenos Aires to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their academic partnership. Looking ahead to Brazil 2014, the event will focus on the multifaceted and fascinating theme of the World Cup in South America, and its history, organisation and legacy.

In collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and various international sports federations, FIFA will host the Anti-Doping in Sports Consensus Meeting in Zurich on 29 November 2013. The principal areas and topics that will be covered will include: anabolic agents in sport, biological profile of individual athletes, autologous blood transfusion, erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, ethical and legal considerations, and the WADA and Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) perspectives.

A FIFA Medical Emergency Bag (FMEB), which was issued to all member associations in June, has been credited with helping to save the life of Afghanistan defender Farzad Ghulam, who suffered a minor cardiac arrest in a SAFF Championship semi-final in Nepal.

As national teams have been playing FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, off the field FIFA’s subsidiary company Early Warning System GmbH (EWS) has been busy monitoring the betting market for any suspicious movements.

Looking ahead

·       1-4 October: meeting week, Zurich 

·       10 October: International League of Humanists award presentation to the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team

·       11-15 October: international match days

·       20-23 October: FIFA/CONCACAF Development Seminar and CONCACAF Sports Summit, Cayman Islands

·       25 October: Speech and Q&A at the Oxford Union

·       26 October: The FA’s 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner, London

·       17 October to 8 November: FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013

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