Convening in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil today, 29 September 2009, for its third meeting of the year, the FIFA Executive Committee, chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, discussed a wide range of topics and took a number of decisions.
2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™
A detailed update was given on the preparations for FIFA's flagship event which will be staged in Africa for the first time next year.
Furthermore, the procedure for the draw for the play-offs in the European zone, scheduled for 19 October in Zurich, was approved. Teams will be seeded on the basis of the next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, which will be published on 16 October. A draw will also be conducted to determine the home teams for the first legs.
The Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ will be held in Cape Town on 4 December.
Additionally, the Executive noted the election of Kirsten Nematandani as the new President of the South African Football Association (SAFA).
FIFA Medical Conference
The first FIFA Medical Conference will take place in Zurich on 17-18 October 2009 and will gather together executives and medical officers from the member associations. The event is structured around three main themes: prevention, information and respect.
FIFA's transfer matching system
The Executive received an update on FIFA's transfer matching system (TMS), which will also be used to enforce the new regulations on the protection of minors. 108 associations and 1,120 clubs are currently actively involved and using TMS. From 1 October 2009, electronic international transfer certificates (ITCs) will be introduced for the transfer of professional players. From 1 September 2010, only electronic ITCs will be accepted for the transfer of professional players, thus ensuring complete transparency.
Men's Olympic Football Tournaments
FIFA Vice-President Issa Hayatou was appointed to chair the working group to consider the eligibility criteria for players participating in future Men's Olympic Football Tournaments. This working group will comprise, amongst others, one representative from each confederation and will submit a recommendation to the Executive Committee at its next meeting on 3 December.
The creation of this working group was decided at this year's FIFA Congress in June.
The Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (BAFA) was suspended due to government interference in its affairs, which started with a decision by the Brunei authorities to dissolve the BAFA and to replace it with a new association in December 2008. The suspension applies with immediate effect and means that Brunei club DPMM will no longer be permitted to play in the Singapore S-League. The suspension will run until the BAFA is reinstated by the government.
Furthermore, the Executive Committee supported the creation of a normalisation committee for the Grenada Football Association and an interim committee for the Syrian Football Association. FIFA is also closely monitoring the situation within a number of other associations, including Iraq, Kuwait, Togo, El Salvador and Peru.
International match calendar
The Executive took the decision to change the days of future double dates in FIFA's international match calendar from Friday/Saturday - Wednesday to Friday/Saturday - Tuesday. The first dates affected by this decision will be those in September 2010.
Corporate social responsibility
The Executive welcomed FIFA's support for the "1 GOAL" campaign which supports projects in the field of education for children (see link to media release).
The appointment of two new Football For Hope Ambassadors - former France international Lilian Thuram and Princess Inaara, the Begum Aga Khan - was confirmed.
2009 FIFA competitions
The Executive received reports about the 2009 FIFA competitions, including the successful FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, and the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009, which kicked off on 24 September. Updates were given on the several forthcoming 2009 competitions (FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009 and FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009).
At the beginning of the meeting, the FIFA President paid a personal tribute to Honorary FIFA Vice-President David Will CBE, who passed away last week, and the Executive Committee members observed a minute of silence in his memory.
The next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee will be held on Robben Island, South Africa on 3 December 2009.