Executive Committee approves report from Task Force for the Good of the Game
Meeting in Zurich yesterday and today (16 and 17 March 2006) and chaired by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee approved the report compiled by the Task Force for the Good of the Game, which will now be submitted to the Congress in Munich on 7-8 June 2006 for ratification. The creation of the task force, which comprises three working groups (for financial matters, political matters and competitions, respectively), was sanctioned by the 2005 FIFA Congress in Marrakech last September upon the proposal of President Blatter in order to address the problems facing football today.
While the working groups for competitions and for political matters have so far convened only on one occasion each, the working group for financial matters, represented by its chairman Dr Mathieu Sprengers (Netherlands), was already in a position to present concrete proposals at today's meeting on five specific issues:
1. Ownership/Control/Influence of clubs 2. Player transfers 3. Players' agents 4. Betting 5. Club licensing
The task force's full report can be consulted on the official FIFA website, www.FIFA.com : http://www.fifa.com/documents/fifa/regulations/working_paper_exco_EN.pdf
During yesterday's session, the Executive Committee had supported the FIFA President's proposal to amend article 55 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code with the introduction of strict new penalties for racism and other forms of discrimination in football (see separate media release dated 16 March). Depending on the severity of the offence, the new sanctions range from the deduction of points (three points for the first transgression, six for the second, and relegation for any subsequent incidents) to the disqualification of the team concerned. Moreover, it will be obligatory for the confederations and member associations to incorporate these sanctions into their own regulations. Any association that fails to respect this directive will be excluded from international football for two years.
The Executive Committee also addressed the report on the meeting of the FIFA Committee for Ethics and Fair Play on 15 February 2006, chaired by Senes Erzik (Turkey), which noted that FIFA Vice-President Jack A. Warner had brought the matter of his being the co-owner of Simpaul Travel Service to the attention of this committee for advice. The FIFA Committee for Ethics and Fair Play had found that there was a conflict of interest and agreed that the matter should be discussed by the FIFA Executive Committee, which it did today.
The actions taken by Jack A. Warner since receiving the advice of the Committee for Ethics and Fair Play - first in ensuring that Simpaul obeyed the ticketing rules and regulations and finally with him and his wife leaving the company - satisfies the requirements of the FIFA Executive Committee and accordingly the matter has been closed.
The ten venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ proposed by the South African local organising committee, all of which have signed the required stadium and host city agreements, gained approval from the Executive Committee. The confirmed list is therefore as follows:
Johannesburg: FNB Stadium and Ellis Park Pretoria: Loftus Versfeld Rustenburg: Royal Bafokeng Bloemfontein: Vodacom Park Cape Town: Green Point Durban: Kings Park Polokwane: Peter Mokaba Nelspruit: Mbombela Port Elizabeth: Nelson Mandela Metro
With regard to this year's FIFA World Cup™ in Germany, the executive noted the report submitted by the FIFA organising committee (see separate media release dated 16 March 2006) and agreed that, prior to the tournament, FIFA refereeing instructors would visit the 32 associations taking part to issue detailed instructions to teams' technical staff. At the same time, the committee also underlined the crucial role referees play in the game of football.
Moving on to the Olympic Football Tournaments Beijing 2008, the breakdown of qualifying places for the men's and women's events was ratified as followed:
Men's tournament (16 teams) - AFC 4 (3 + hosts China PR) - CAF 3 - CONCACAF 2 - CONMEBOL 2 - OFC 1 - UEFA 4
Women's tournament (new 12-team format, as opposed to 10 in 2004) - AFC 3 (2 + hosts China PR) - CAF 1.5 (1 automatic qualifier + 1 team to play off against representative from CONMEBOL) - CONCACAF 2 - CONMEBOL 1.5 (1 automatic qualifier + 1 team to play off against representative from CAF) - OFC 1 - UEFA 3
It was also agreed that the qualifying places for the next FIFA U-17 World Cup, in Korea in 2007, (which has been expanded to 24 teams, including an extra slot for the confederation whose representative won the previous event) would be allocated as follows:
- AFC 5 (4 + hosts Korea) - CAF 4 - CONCACAF 5 (including 1 slot for winning the 2005 event) - CONMEBOL 4 - OFC 1 - UEFA 5
With respect to the coordinated international match calendar, the Executive Committee instructed the confederations to inform FIFA by no later than 15 June 2006 of the dates for the continental championships planned in 2007 and 2008. From 2009 onwards, the relevant dates must be submitted to FIFA two years in advance.
Following an open tender process launched in October 2005, the executive gave the green light to the sale of the 2007-2014 TV rights for Asia, excluding Japan (the rights for which were assigned last year), to Infront/Dentsu, who have set up a joint venture that will serve as an agency for selling on these rights, which will nonetheless remain the property of FIFA. Australian broadcaster SBS was allocated the broadcasting rights in its own country and across the rest of the Oceania region.
Finally, the Executive Committee confirmed that the 2007 FIFA Congress will take place in Zurich on 29-31 May, coinciding with the official inauguration of the governing body's new headquarters, the "Home of FIFA".