FIFA always kicks off on time. At 1000 hours at the Bayerricher Hof, Munich, the FIFA Executive Committee met, just days in advance of the opening of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, as FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter called the meeting to order of the 24 men who control the worldwide sports organization responsible for the sport of football/soccer.
The President offered the incentive to the Committee of completing the work on the Agenda in a single day. With that motivatioin, the Committee attacked its day's work with energy and dedication in order to have time to spend on Monday with their respective delegations arriving in Munich for the FIFA Congress.
The Agenda for the meeting is normally broken up into sections. The first section is comprised of reports while later there are items which require action or decisions by the Executive Committee. Today was no different. The program began with opening remarks of President Blatter. This was followed by the Roll Call with everyone present, including former great player Michel Platini, pictured above. The minutes of 18 meetings of Committees held since February were approved and the Agenda, likewise, was accepted.
The President reported on his activites since the last meeting and brought to the attention of the Exco a meeting of the Emergency Committee dealing with the composition of the World Club Championship. Reports by the Confederations were next and then Angel Maria Villar Llonar, FIFA VP and Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee reported on the status of the Referees for the World Cup.
Chuck Blazer, Chairman of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship Russia 2006 (17 August - 3 September) reported on preparations for the event while Jim Brown, Director of Competitions reported on the Draw held in Moscow in April.
Ah, I guess this would be a good time to tell you that these are not minutes of the meetings nor do I plan to give you the content of the presentations, since that is for the official spokesmen of FIFA to do in news conferences and through the official FIFA website. All I hope to chronicle for you during these coming weeks are the sensations and experiences of this World Cup month. I hope you enjoy reading about them.
Brazilian Confederation President Ricardo Teixeira, Chairman of FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2006 (2-11 November) gave the update on preparations for that event and a listing of teams already qualified and the remaining Confederaton qualifying tournaments scheduled for this summer.
FIFA Vice President Lennart Johannson reported on the prior day's meeting of the Organizing Committee for the FIFA World Cup Germany and made everyone aware of the progress and status of the great endeavor.
The General Secretary, Urs Linsi, reported on the developments in organizing the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. The introduction of the Logo and the official launch will take place while we are here in Germany.
Dr. Vlacheslav Koloskov, Chairman of the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2006 (10-17 December) reported on the teams qualified and the calendar to determine the remainder. Also, a decision was taken regarding the composition of the teams.
President Blatter then reported on the Task Force for the Good of the Game, a group he launched at last year's Congress to deal with the serious issues of today's football. A full report will be made to the Congress.
The General Secretary reported on the meeting of the Strategic Studies Working Group, held two days earlier in Munich, with the Secreataries of the Confederations and the GS of FIFA. He focused on a report made by UEFA's CEO Lars-Christer Olsson on referee development.
The Exco was given the dates of the International Match Calendar for 2007 & 2008, showing the dates fixed for each Confederation's National Team Championship. A discussion also took place about the venues for the 2009 U17 and U20 World Cups.
The President gave an extensive report on the "Win in Africa - with Africa" concept and how they are making progress towards achieving its objectives.
Dates for all Confederation congresses were submitted for 2007.
The Executive Committee received the report of the Internal Audit Committee and were ready for the Congress.
Jerome Valcke, Director of the FIFA Marketing & TV AG reported on the meeting of the Board of Directors which took place on Thursday in Munich. He submitted the recommendations made by the Board which had also been approved by FIFA's Finance Committee.
Senior Vice President Julio Grondona and Chairman of FIFA's Finance Committee reported together with Markus Kattner, reported on the state of the finances fo FIFA.
Dr. Koloskov once more took the floor, this time in his capacity of Chairman of the National Associations Committee. There he reported on seven members that had particular problems.
Vice President David Will, and Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee, was responsible for the presentation of the Legal Matters. The report was comprehensive and coverage current litigation and pending matters. He then addressed the proposals to the Congress and reviewed with the membership the items which would be presented to the Congress for decision.
Also on the Congress (7 and 8 or June), responsibilities were assigned to members for special tasks and presentations and other technical issues were covered along with listing those to receive the FIFA Order of Merit during the Congress.
An update was given regarding the new home of FIFA and the successful move of personnel into the new facilities. The Executive Committee will meet there for the first time on 15 September, while the members of the Congress will get to experience it first hand at the 2007 FIFA Congress at the end of May.
Each member was given the opportunity to raise any other issue on their mind and follwing that the meeting was adjourned and the group picture was taken.
Time to get ready for the Executive Committee Dinner at 1900 hours.
See you later.