FIFA Executive Committee proposes measures to tackle football issues
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The FIFA Executive Committee today held an extraordinary meeting at the request of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in order to tackle various important issues that have recently had an impact on world football, such as incidents in the recent qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, match control (refereeing) and irregularities in the football-betting market. The committee discussed these matters and agreed on concrete proposals to ensure that improvements are made in these three areas in the near future.

With regards to the assistance given to referees in their task of match control, the Executive Committee expressed its support for the current experiment of including two additional referees behind the goal lines. However, the committee stressed that it would be too soon to implement this new system at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

Concerning the format of the preliminary competition of the FIFA World Cup™, the Executive Committee agreed to request the general secretaries of all confederations to find a means of optimising the regulations and format of the preliminary competition. Their proposals should be presented to the committee at its next meeting in March.

The Executive Committee approved the creation of an international task force to fight against irregular and illegal betting activities in football. President Blatter informed the committee that Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble had assured FIFA of Interpol’s strong support for this task force. The Executive Committee agreed with FIFA’s proposal to unify all football warning systems behind this task force in order to better coordinate the fight against these activities and enhance cooperation with Interpol, national authorities and football authorities in this area.

Finally, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee will examine the case of Thierry Henry related to the play-off match between France and the Republic of Ireland on 18 November 2009, as well as incidents relating to the matches between Algeria and Egypt in Cairo on 14 November and in Khartoum on 18 November.