January: FIFA helps Asia, U20 qualifiers kick-off
The tragic events of the tsunami called for an extraordinary response to help the various countries touched by the disaster and the international football family rose to the task. The year began with FIFA co-ordinating the efforts of the game's global community as donations came in for the newly-created FIFA/AFC Tsunami Solidarity Fund. FIFA and UEFA announced that a Football for Hope match would be played in Barcelona in February, featuring the best of the world's footballing talent.
Indonesia, one of the countries worst hit by the tsunami, played on to try to lift the spirits of their nation as they bravely reached the final of the Asian Tiger Cup, where they eventually lost to Singapore.
The FIFA World Youth Championship came into view as qualifying events were held in four Confederations. At the African Youth Championship, Nigeria arrived in Benin as favourites and lived up to their billing as they beat Egypt in the final. Both teams joined Morocco and hosts Benin in achieving qualification. For Benin, their progression marked an emotional and fitting tribute to their youth team goalkeeper, Yessouffou Samiou, who was tragically killed in Cotonou, Benin shortly after their opening match.
The CONCACAF Youth Championship saw Canada win all their three matches and join Honduras at Netherlands 2005. South American qualifying began in January, reaching a climax in February.
Oceania's Youth Championship ended prematurely as crowd violence forced the abandonment of the final between hosts Solomon Islands and Australia. The match and qualifying spot were awarded to Australia, who were leading 3-0 at the time.
On the commercial front, adidas became the first organisation to sign up as a FIFA Partner from 2007 to 2014, taking on the role of Official Sports Equipment Supplier under a USD 351 million agreement.
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking
There was no change in the Top Ten, but Germany were the prime movers in Europe, jumping up 3 to 16th after a successful Asian tour. Singapore's victory in the Asian Tiger Cup brought them up eight places to 104th, while in Africa, Ethiopia leaped 20 places to 131st and neighbouring Sudan also rose to 104th, up 10. In the CONCACAF zone, Cuba (72nd, up 4) and Haiti (92nd, up 3) made good progress.
2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™
With no qualifiers played in January, interest in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ was sustained by the announcement that the first phase of tickets for the finals would be released to the public via the internet. More than 800,000 would go on general sale on 1 February.
4 Jan - FIFA and AFC create solidarity fund in response to the tsunami disaster
5 Jan - Agenda revealed for 119th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board in February
12 Jan - 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ Referees' Project launched
13 Jan - Football for Hope tsunami match announced by FIFA and UEFA, to be played 15 February in Barcelona
13 Jan - FIFA adopts the 2005 Prohibited List International Standard issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
17 Jan - Football family mourns the death of Benin youth team goalkeeper Yessouffou Samiou
27 Jan - FIFA expresses "deep shock" as German referee Robert Hoyzer confirms veracity of match-fixing allegations levelled against him
|Three top stories:|
|U20 African Youth Championship Review|
|Indonesia play on to help nation smile|
|Women's football finds feet in Spain|
- December: Brazilian kings and Prinz crowned »
- February: Stars shine for tsunami victims »
- March: Top draw for Netherlands 2005, Copacabana Beach booked »
- April: Race for Peru 2005, GOAL scores in Africa »
- May: France conquer Copacabana Beach, Liverpool's miracle »
- June: Brazil claim FIFA Confederations Cup »
- July: Argentina win Netherlands 2005, Costa Rica off to Peru 2005 »
- August: European season starts Germany 2006 countdown »
- September: Brazil on course as Peru 2005 thrills fans »
- October: Mexico stun Brazil, Germany 2006 takes shape »
- November: Germany 2006 line-up complete, football salutes Best »