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59th FIFA Congress, Nassau 2009

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter before the start of the post Congress press conference
© Foto-net

After the 59th FIFA Congress on 2 and 3 June 2009 in the Bahamas, a press conference was held to explain the decisions taken. On the panel was the FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and the FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.

On the Congress
Joseph S. Blatter: I am a very happy President after this Congress. We have unity in the family in the way messages have been applied. We have put together a declaration to challenge the problems and solve them because there is always a solution.

There were an impressive 205 Member Associations present, only three could not be with us. We had a very disciplined Congress, there were no problems in order or discipline - this shows that members of FIFA are aware of their responsibility. It was quiet because everyone could sense that there was something important happening. We were here for three reasons: to protect the game, to protect the players and to strengthen the governance of football.

We saw a presentation by FIFA's Chief Medical Officer Prof. Jiri Dvorak which stressed the importance of health in protecting the players.

There was no discussion on FIFA's finances, just one question on the budget - it's good to have a question. I hope the crisis has reached the bottom, but if it hasn't FIFA has equity reserves. We can work, not for us but for the National Associations.

On the '6+5' rule
Joseph S. Blatter: The timeframe is no problem for me. I'm very happy with the progress of this initiative; we have to do it in the existing world. It was the resolution of the Congress not to fight, we will wait for the Treaty of Lisbon, which includes the specificity of sport, to be passed. It would be nonsense for me to try to install '6+5' before then. Practically we have '3+8' already, in Spain and Italy, apart from perhaps Internazionale, we already have '6+5.' I will not go against the law, but the law can be amended. We are in a good place. '6+5' will come, it's just a question of when, everybody in the Congress room had a very special feeling about it.

On sporting nationality
Joseph S. Blatter:This issue was dealt with by the Congress of 2008 - if you want to play for a given country you must have lived there for at least five years from the age of 18. We cannot allow a situation where you can simply import from abroad otherwise in the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ half the players will be Brazilians. We cannot just reflect governmental rules, we need sporting nationality. We will be looking closely at the issue of Mexico; it may be that some countries are not yet applying the FIFA statutes.

On licensed agents
Jerome Valcke: It's to say that at the moment the system is not working if you look at a situation where only 25 per cent of transfers involve a FIFA registered agent. We have created a working group with the various stakeholders - clubs, leagues, national associations, confederations, FIFPro and FIFA to define the rules and establish what we call an intermediary. This is an issue we must tackle.

On being in the Bahamas
Joseph S. Blatter: I'm very happy to have a Congress in the Bahamas - the first in the Caribbean. We have had Congresses in CONCACAF before - in 1976 we took the historic decision to expel South Africa in Montreal, in 1986 we were in Mexico before the World Cup, as in 1994 when we were in Chicago. The Bahamas is small, but it's paradise. You've hosted a very good congress.

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