Qualifiers for the FIFA U-17 World Championship reached a tense climax in April and nowhere more so than in Venezuela, with 17 days of intense competition for South America's two spots along with the hosts at Peru 2005. Argentina were eliminated at an early stage as Brazil and Uruguay were the teams to go through. Elsewhere, Australia powered to Peru with a free-scoring qualifying run which included a 26-0 defeat of Tonga and USA kept up their record of being the only nation to have qualified for every FIFA U-17 World Championship.

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter undertook a six-day trip to sub-Saharan Africa with a FIFA delegation to inspect and open GOAL programme projects in Chad, the Central African Republic, the Congo Democratic Republic, Burundi and Rwanda. Elsewhere on the continent, South Africa's Local Organising Committee for the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finals opened for business.

Korea DPR were ordered to play their next 'home' game against Japan at a neutral ground and behind closed doors following incidents in their match against Bahrain. FIFA also ordered Georgia to play their next two home games behind closed doors due to incidents in two matches against Greece and Turkey.

FIFA's Tsunami Task Force held its first meeting in Zurich and agreed to release initial payments totalling USD 7.6 million from the joint FIFA/AFC Tsunami Solidarity Fund to the member associations affected by the tragedy.

A match between two mixed teams with players of Special Olympics Switzerland and FIFA was organised in Zurich for the third time to help celebrate European Football Week.

In the commercial world, the Sony Corporation signed up as a FIFA Partner in the wide-ranging product category 'Digital Life' from 2007 to 2014.

FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking
The Czech Republic (2nd, up 2) climbed to sit on Brazil's coat-tails, with struggling France falling two places (4th, down 2) to lose their 'top European team' status for the first time in two years. Argentina successfully held on to third place in a month of numerous changes further down the rankings. The biggest movers were Austria (72nd, up 8), Togo (79th, up 8) and the Cape Verde Islands (121st, up 8), who achieved their highest-ever position in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™
There were no qualifiers for Germany 2006 in April 2005.

Key Dates:
1 April - South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee begins operations

10-15 April - FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter leads delegation to visit Goal projects in Africa

23-30 April - European Football Week

26 April - FIFA Financial Media Conference, Lausanne

26 April - FIFA reports successful Centennial financial year in 2004, with surplus income of CHF 158 million and an increase in equity to CHF 238 million

28 April - FIFA/IOC annual meeting, Lausanne

  Three top stories:
  South Africa gears up for 2010 FIFA World Cup™
  African Goal projects get Presidential approval
  South American U-17 Championship review