57th FIFA Congress, Zurich, 30 and 31 May 2007 p1
Dialogue not confrontation
On the second day of congress proceedings at Zurich’s ?Hallenstadion’ on 31 May, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter have a speech to the delegates on the 2006 FIFA member association in attendance, a number that was subsequently increased to 207 with the admission of Montenegro, to explain FIFA’s new objectives and state that social responsibility would take centre stage.
In his address, the President spoke about the challenges that lie ahead. “This Congress has to show us the path that our wonderful football movement and the FIFA family needs to follow. Away from the headlines about major tournaments and matches, football has so many hidden stories to tell about the game’s power and aura.” With that in mind, FIFA will later this year be producing 26 short films and making them available, free of charge, to the world’s media in order to take such aspects of its activities to a wider audience.
Blatter explained that FIFA’s duty to take its social responsibility even more seriously were due to the popularity of football and the resources that are now available. “FIFA is now in a comfortable financial position and we have to use those resources. But that is not enough. Social responsibility begins with each and every one of us,” said Blatter in an appeal for everyone to use their hearts and minds to help, in line with FIFA’s new slogan of “For the Game. For the World.”
In that regard, AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam praised Blatter’s work in the Goal Programme. “We thank you for your vision, which since 1999 has given FIFA’s association 96 headquarters, 171 technical centers and 45 artificial turf pitches. That has led to enormous improvements.”