In Chile to attend the FIFA Women's U-20 World Cup, Joseph S. Blatter discussed a number of issues at a press conference at the headquarters of the Chilean Football Association in Santiago on Friday.
On Chile 2008 and women's football around the world.
On behalf of FIFA I would like to congratulate the organisers of the FIFA Women's U-20 World Cup Chile 2008, the first women's World Cup to be staged in South America. It is a historic event. As I said at the first FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden in 1995, "The future of women's football is female." When I said that I didn't mean that women's football would be more dominant than the men's game in the future. What I wanted to do was to get national associations to open their doors to women. Today, thanks to the development promoted by FIFA, there is no country in the world where women do not play football. There are no cultural barriers holding women's football back.
On stadiums, the issue of security for 2010 and the candidates for 2018.
Preparations for South Africa 2010 are well under way. The global economic recession will not prevent the World Cup from taking place. It will be the first in Africa and I'm sure it will be a great World Cup.
We are going to work with the South African government to ensure top-level security at the event, just as there was at the Beijing Olympics. Our hope is that after the World Cup that security is lasting. That is the legacy we want to leave.
We have a lot of candidates to host the 2018 World Cup. So far the only official candidature we have received is a joint bid from Belgium and Netherlands, but Mexico, USA, England, Spain and Portugal, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and Qatar have all told us they are interested. In line with the new rotation system, all the national associations of Asia, CONCACAF, Europe and Oceania can be candidates. We will be discussing things in depth at the next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee on 15 December in Japan, and the intention is to open the candidature process for 2018 and 2022 at the same time.
There is a lot of interest in staging the FIFA World Cup because football is the most popular sport in the world. A few days ago the International Olympic Committee published a report detailing the television audiences that the 2008 Beijing Olympics attracted outside China. A total of 5 billion television viewers watched the Games, but two years ago more than 25 billion viewers watched the 2006 FIFA World Cup. That's five times more! No other sporting event in the world generates the interest that the World Cup does.
On Chile's aim to stage the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015.
The Chilean FA have expressed an interest in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015. It's a very serious candidature, and they were interested in Canada too. We know that with the sporting infrastructure they currently have and the improvements that President Bachelet has promised me, Chile will put forward a very serious proposal.