From Paris to Zurich
Congress or annual general meetings have an important place in the life of a federation. In additional to fulfilling their statutory purpose as forums for discussion and decision-making, they also provide a social setting for reaching agreements by consensus, which is just as important as their formal and regulated function.
FIFA’s congresses are no exception. Even in today’s world, which has become a global village thanks to television, the internet and e-mail, the general assemblies of world football’s governing body have retained their importance as place for associations from all over the world to meet, network and exchange views.
A glance at the history books tells us that Zurich and Paris are the cities that have staged the FIFA Congress the most, each on seven different occasions. This is readily explained by the fact that Paris is the city where FIFA was founded and has remained a major venue for FIFA events. Meanwhile, the organization’s headquarters have been based in Zurich since 1932 and seven FIFA congresses have been held in FIFA’s home city since 1980.
This year’s Congress will be the 57th time that the world football community has come together in its 103-year history. For many decades the FIFA Congress was held on a biennial basis, with extraordinary congresses held as necessary. Then, following the amendment of the FIFA Statutes in Doha in 2003, the Congress officially became an annual event owing to the volume of issues that it is required to deal with.