Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

FIFA President deems taking FIFA World Cup™ to Africa to be 'moral obligation'

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and his CAF (Confederation of African Football) counterpart, FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou addressed African heads of state and government today (29 January 2007) at the 8th African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The African Union confirmed the launch of the International Year of African Football to coincide with this year's 50th anniversary of CAF's foundation in 1957.

In a speech that focused on the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa and the "Win in Africa with Africa" initiative, the FIFA President emphasised that "for FIFA and the whole world, taking the FIFA World Cup to Africa is practically a moral obligation to African football and to the African people."

He also appealed to African governments and the international community to get behind the development of Africa and proposed football as the vehicle for educational, social and health initiatives and as a tool in the fight against discrimination so as to reinforce national unity.

For his part, CAF President Issa Hayatou paid homage to all those who have fought for African football in the past 50 years in order to secure it the place it deserves.