Rotation ends in 2018
© AFP

As from 2018, the hosting of the FIFA World Cup™ will cease to be rotated. Under the chairmanship of President Joseph S. Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee today - 29 October 2007 - unanimously passed a decision to abandon the principle (originally introduced in the year 2000) of rotating the men's World Cup from continent to continent. The confederations whose associations have hosted the two preceding World Cups will not be eligible to bid, however. Consequently, all the associations from Asia, North and Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania and Europe may bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.

One of the reasons for changing the rotation principle was the fact that only one candidate - Brazil - is still in contention for the 2014 FIFA World Cup that is due to be awarded tomorrow, Tuesday, 30 October 2007. The executive stated explicitly that eligibility to host the World Cup should no longer be restricted to the rotation principle as it was also in FIFA's interests to maintain true competition among several candidates. The provision regarding the exclusion of bids from associations belonging to the two previous host confederations will require an amendment to the FIFA Statutes at the 2008 FIFA Congress.

"The rotation principle has served its purpose and has enabled us to award our most prestigious competition to Africa for the first time and, depending on tomorrow's decision, to South America for the first time in many years," commented Blatter.

"Since several associations from different confederations have already declared their interest in bidding, the FIFA executive came to the conclusion that as from 2018 the bidding procedure should once again be open to all continents, except those parts of the world that have hosted the two previous tournaments."

In the medium term, however, FIFA's sights are set on the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The next step along the way will be the preliminary draw in Durban on 25 November 2007. The day before, the match schedule for the final competition will be presented to the FIFA organising committee for approval.

In Africa, the World Cup preliminary competition will also serve as the qualifying competition for the Africa Cup of Nations 2010. After consulting all of the confederations, additional international match dates were approved for 2008, in accordance with the international match calendar.

Furthermore, the question of ticket sales for South Africa 2010 was discussed. It is intended that the associations qualified to take part will now be allocated 12% (previously 8%) of purchasable tickets for the group matches of the finals whereas the allocation for the knockout stages will remain at 8%. Since the 2006 FIFA World Cup, FIFA has reassumed responsibility for ticket sales and will establish a company named "2010 FIFA World Cup Ticketing Ltd" to this end. In addition, on account of the distances involved, a programme for tour operators will be launched to enable certified and authorised companies to offer combined ticket and travel package deals.

Regarding other items, at the request of the Associations Committee, the Kuwait Football Association has been suspended with immediate effect from all international football activities until further notice on account of government interference in the association's affairs and for infringing its own statutes as well as for failing to comply with a decision passed by the FIFA Executive Committee. The associations of Iran, Peru and Central African Republic may also be suspended (cf. separate announcement) if their situations do not return to normal.

In accordance with various decisions passed by the FIFA Congress in Zurich on 30 and 31 May 2007, the FIFA executive approved a number of regulations, including the Club Licensing Regulations, the revised Players' Agents Regulations and amendments to the Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players. The new provisions include jurisprudence from previous cases with regard to players' status and a new prohibition on third-party influence on transfers.

Moreover, a new article in the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes is intended to ensure that clubs may only qualify for a higher division on sporting merit so as to prevent a recurrence of cases such as that of Spanish club Granada 74. The exact wording of this article will be submitted to the next meeting of the Executive Committee and subsequently ratified by the FIFA Congress. The executive also approved the Standard Electoral Code for associations, a Standard Cooperation Agreement between associations and government bodies, standard regulations for national dispute resolution chambers as well as the establishment of a company under the name of FIFA Transfer Matching System GmbH. The purpose of this company is to compare international transfers and to prevent such abuses as agents representing minors, or money laundering in player transfers.

Of the USD 16 million in total prize money for the FIFA Club World Cup 2007, the winner will receive USD 5 million. The executive furthermore decided that this tournament would again be held in Japan in 2008, whereas the 2009 and 2010 competitions would be open to bidding. At this year's event, FIFA will test a completely new version of chip-in-ball goal-line technology from adidas and Cairos. The International Football Association Board gave the green light to these trials at its annual business meeting in Glasgow on 22 October 2007. However, as a matter of principle, the board rejected the suggestion of experimenting with two additional assistant referees at the same tournament.

The FIFA executive reiterated that it was essential to raise refereeing to professional status and incorporate referees' organisations into association structures to meet the ever increasing demands made on them. The executive approved a two-part plan with a preparation programme for prospective referees for 2010 and for further development of refereeing at association level, for which USD 37.5 million has been set aside.

With regard to finances, the executive was informed that FIFA's four-year budget for the 2007-2010 cycle had been adjusted as a result of increased revenue on the one hand and additional activities and obligations on the other. The new budget shows income of USD 3.2 billion and expenses of USD 2.96 billion. As a result of the revised budget, FIFA expects its equity to increase to USD 800 million by 2010. The new estimate will be submitted to the 2008 FIFA Congress for ratification.

Further decisions included:
- The executive noted with satisfaction a report by the Strategic Committee and the creation and composition of various working groups (cf. media release dated 9 October 2007).

- To further strengthen corporate governance and to adhere to compliance principles, the executive passed a revised version of FIFA's Internal Organisation Regulations.

- The 58th FIFA Congress will take place in Sydney on 29 and 30 May 2008. FIFA will put out tenders for subsequent congresses whose venues have not yet been confirmed. namely those in 2009, 2012 and 2013. The congress will be held in Johannesburg in 2010 and in Switzerland in 2011 .

- The U-20 Women's World Cup will be staged in Chile from 20 November to 7 December 2008.

- The number of participating associations for the Futsal World Cup in Brazil in 2008 has been increased from 16 to 20 and split among the confederations as follows: AFC 4, CAF 2, CONCACAF 3, CONMEBOL 3, OFC 1, UEFA 6 and hosts Brazil.

- The Executive Committee noted initial findings from the conference of medical specialists on football at high altitude and in other extreme conditions. The FIFA Sports Medical Committee will draw up a consensus paper, based on the conclusions it reaches at its meeting in Zurich on 2 November 2007, for submission to the Executive Committee meeting in Tokyo on 15 December 2007.

With regard to FIFA's flagship events in the women's and men's games, Brazil will present its bid for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ whereas Germany and Canada will make presentations for the Women's World Cup 2011 in the auditorium of the Home of FIFA tomorrow, Tuesday, 30 October 2007 (cf. separate programme). As previously announced, the FIFA executive will announce its decisions on the host countries at a media conference later in the day (beginning at 15.00h CET).

Further information from:
FIFA Media Department - tel.: +41-43/222 7272, fax: +41-43/222 7373 or e-mail: media@fifa.org
FIFA COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION / Zurich, 29.10.07 / 2007-137-PostEXCO-October-E.doc