Fifa executive takes wide ranging decisions
Posted: 17 March 2008 Time: 1:45 pm
The Fifa Executive committee was briefed at the weekend about developments at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth and the power outrages currently being experienced in South Africa.
Fifa will make a final decision on April 29 as to whether the behind schedule stadium will be dropped as a venue from the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup programmes.
While asking it’s administration to monitor developments very closely, the committee noted with satisfaction the overall progress achieved by the South African organising committee.
The Executive Committee, in a wide-range of decision made at the weekend, also approved a change in the international calendar to allow the Africa Cup of Nations to be played from January 10- 31, 2010.
Fifa will also press ahead with controversial proposals to limit the number of foreign players available to clubs.
Under the so-called ‘6 + 5’ system, Fifa head Sepp Blatter wants club sides to field a minimum of six players eligible to represent the team’s home international side.
Blatter, who has the full support of his executive committee for the proposals, said the idea would strengthen the identity of clubs and promote investment in developing young players.
Further matters and decisions taken at the Zurich meeting were:
That for the 2011 Women's World Cup, the number of finalist teams was maintained at 16. Germany. A decision will be made in Sydney on May 27 which country will host the 2009 and 2010 Fifa Club World Cups. The 2008 edition will be played in Japan from 11 to 21 December.
The men’s Olympic Football Tournament final will definitely be played in Beijing’s Olympic Stadium at noon on August 23. The executive also appealed to the goodwill of clubs to release players above the age of 23 for the men's event. The draws for the men's and women's Olympic tournaments will be held in Beijing on 20 April, with the women’s play-off match for the final slot between Brazil and Ghana taking place April 19 in the Chinese capital.
The Fifa Futsal World Cup in Brazil will now start on September 30 and end on October 19 so as to accommodate the increase from 16 to 20 teams. In addition, it was decided that total prize money of USD 700 000 would be awarded.
The dates for the two 2008 Fifa women’s competitions with age limits were slightly adapted with the U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile to be played from November 19 to December 7 and the U-17 Women's World Cup in New Zealand from October 28 to November 16. With respect to the latter, the Executive Committee approved a revised distribution of slots: AFC 3, CAF 2, CONCACAF 3, CONMEBOL 3, OFC 1 (host) and UEFA 4.
The Executive Committee confirmed Fifa's opposition to the English Premier League’s planned international round.
Note was taken of the decision by the IFAB regarding the new unified dimensions of the field of play (105 by 68 metres), which will not have a retroactive effect and will only apply to new stadiums.
Concerning the status of implementation of the Win in Africa with Africa initiative, it was reported that 26 artificial turf projects had been finished so far with another 24 under construction and two in the tender process stage. The objective is to complete all such projects by the end of 2008.
The ban on high altitude internationals will be maintained after the issue was discussed following a request by the South American football confederation. Fifa’s ruling states no international matches should be played above 2 750 metres “without acclimatisation”.
Fifa has also decided to suspend the Football Association of Albania due to heavy political interference, while the situation in Spain will be closely monitored following a ministerial decree that aims to regulate the election for the association's leadership, effectively shortening the mandate of the current leadership by eight months.
The situation in Turkey will continue to be supervised, as will the cases of Kuwait and Dominica, while in the case of Madagascar, it was decided that the association would be suspended automatically if the government decree to dissolve the association was not cancelled within three days.
The Ethiopian government will also be asked to allow the Ethiopian Football Federation to access its headquarters again. Moreover, the Fifa administration was requested to monitor very closely developments with respect to the diplomatic situation of Kosovo.
Blatter also declined to comment on court claims linking a senior member of Fifa to alleged bribery payments.
Fifa executive committee member Nicolas Leoz was last week named in a prosecution file listing payments from a secret bank account set up by Fifa’s former marketing partners ISL.