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Chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee held its first meeting of the year at the Home of FIFA in Zurich over the last two days.
FIFA’s governance reform process was high on the agenda of the meeting. In accordance with the agreed reform road map, the Executive Committee today reviewed the remaining governance reform proposals, which had previously been examined by the relevant working group of the confederation general secretaries and by the FIFA Legal Committee. In this regard, the executive agreed on proposals to be submitted to the upcoming FIFA Congress, which will convene in Mauritius on 30 and 31 May. The first series of reforms was approved with an overwhelming majority by the FIFA Congress in May 2012. The executive also approved the FIFA Organisation Regulations.
A further landmark step in FIFA’s governance reform process was taken by the executive with the approval of the new General Regulations for FIFA Development Programmes that will come into force on 1 July 2013.
The names of the candidates for the judicial bodies (Disciplinary Committee, Appeal Committee and Ethics Committee), the Audit and Compliance Committee and the female member of the Executive Committee to be elected at the 63rd FIFA Congress were also presented to the executive.
Furthermore, the executive decided to propose to the Congress that two more women be co-opted onto the executive, in addition to the female member who will be elected at the upcoming Congress.
A report was provided by Michael J. Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, and by Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, on the work done so far by this committee. Amongst others, both chairmen congratulated FIFA on the quality of the existing FIFA Code of Ethics and the support and cooperation received from FIFA. Regarding the ISL-ISMM case, the executive was informed that a report had been submitted by the chairman of the investigatory chamber to the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, who is currently examining it.
Following the last meeting of the Strategic Committee, a FIFA Task Force against Racism and Discrimination was created, chaired by FIFA Vice-President Jeffrey Webb. “Racism and discrimination are such scourges in society, and therefore in our sport, that we need to take concrete actions and do more than we have done in the past to eradicate them from football. We shall work on education and prevention on the one hand, and on disciplinary sanctions on the other,” stated the FIFA President.
Regarding FIFA’s finances, the Executive Committee approved the 2012 Financial Report, with a positive annual result of USD 89 million (revenue of USD 1,166 million and expenses of USD 1,077 million). 69% of the expenses was spent on FIFA events and football development projects.
The annual result is in line with FIFA’s decision to moderately increase its reserves and continue to invest more into its core activities, in particular football development programmes.
The Executive Committee also approved the 2014 FIFA expense budget (USD 1,412 million).
Furthermore, following a request from the Jordan Football Association, the executive decided to donate USD 200,000 worth of football equipment and kits to Syrian refugees, many of them children, who are living in a camp at the border between Syria and Jordan.
Domenico Scala, chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee, presented a report to the executive about the activities of this committee, which last year replaced the former Audit Committee – with an increased scope of responsibility – as part of FIFA’s governance reform process.
A number of reports were given on the upcoming FIFA competitions and the following decisions were taken:
- FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013: the executive noted with great satisfaction that the tournament has already been a popular success, with 65% of tickets already sold. The company that will provide the goal-line technology system for this tournament will be selected by 2 April 2013.
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™: the qualification dates of Group F in the African zone were re-scheduled to allow Nigeria to arrive in Brazil on time for the FIFA Confederations Cup (changed from 7 and 14 June 2013 to 5 and 12 June 2013). More information on this week’s meeting of the FIFA Organising Committee for the FIFA World Cup™ is available on the right hand side.
- 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™: the Preliminary Draw will take place in Saint Petersburg on 24 or 25 July 2015.
- FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013: the match schedule was approved.
- FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014: based on new guarantees received from the Costa Rican public authorities as well as the report received from CONCACAF, the executive re-appointed Costa Rica as hosts of the tournament.
- FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™: the match schedule of the competition, which will be played for the first time with 24 teams, was provisionally approved.
- FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2013: the match schedule was approved.
Regarding cases with FIFA’s member associations, the following decisions were taken:
- Antigua and Barbuda (ABFA): the deadline to hold elections has been extended until 15 May 2013.
- Gambia (GFA): the mandate of the GFA normalisation committee was extended until 30 June 2013.
- Guatemala (FNFG): the executive expressed its unanimous support for the FNFG with regard to its disciplinary decision, in a case of match-fixing, which has been challenged by a local court (more information on the right hand side). FIFA will closely monitor this case to ensure that the FNFG’s sanction is duly implemented.
- Indonesia (PSSI): the executive welcomed the fact that, on 17 March 2013, a duly constituted PSSI congress had successfully managed to implement the objectives imposed by FIFA. Subsequently, no further action is necessary at this time but the situation will continue to be closely monitored.
- The 2014-2018 international match calendar was approved.
- Iraq: the executive approved a request from the Iraqi FA to resume playing international friendly games at home.
- The FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013 will take place in Zurich on 13 January 2014.
The next meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee will be held in Mauritius on Tuesday, 28 May 2013.