Rendezvous in the city of FIFA
With the inauguration of the Home of FIFA, the FIFA Congress and the first meeting of the new-look Executive Committee, 29 May to 1 June 2007 promises to be an action-packed few days.
Business before pleasure, or so the saying goes, but for once FIFA will be reversing this precept at the end of May 2007 by holding a major celebration first and a congress and series of meetings afterwards.
The inauguration of FIFA’s new headquarters will be a new milestone for the organization. Around 1,500 delegates, partners, guests and media representatives are expected and they should find sufficient space in and around FIFA’s generously proportioned building, in particular in the beautifully designed gardens, which are separated into six different sections, each planted with flora from one of the six confederations. In addition to the inauguration ceremony and a dinner in the evening, two football tournaments on the artificial turf pitch next to the Home of FIFA are planned.
At visitor’s curiosity will naturally be focused on the Home of FIFA, touring this architectural wonder promises to be a highlight in itself. On the tours in and around the building, guests will not only be informed about the building itself but also about FIFA’s diverse range of activities.
Then, on 1 June, FIFA will open its doors once again, this time to residents of the neighboring area and the families of staff, which promises to be a first in the world body’s history and another feat of organization, with more than 10,000 visitors expected. The day’s events will include games designed to test visitors’ football skills, a carnival atmosphere, tours of the building and a wide range of refreshments, all bringing FIFA and the public closer together in an entirely novel way.
In between these two events, the FIFA Congress will take place in Zurich’s ?Hallenstadion’ on 30 and 31 May, beginning with an opening ceremony on the afternoon of 30 May and followed by the Congress dinner. The Congress itself will take place the next day, with the presidential election as one of main focuses. The only person standing for election is current FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, as no other parties submitted their candidatures by the 31 March deadline provided for under article 24, paragraph 1 of the FIFA Statutes.
Blatter was first elected as the eighth President of FIFA at the 1998 Congress in Paris. Four years later, in Seoul on 29 May 2002, the associations confirmed his position. The Extraordinary Congress in Doha in 2003 voted to prolong that mandate from four to five years so that the presidential election would take place in the year after the termination of the four-year financial period and thus not overshadow the FIFA World Cup TM. Blatter is therefore standing for a third term of office, this time for four years until 2011.
In addition, the Congress will also discuss various proposed amendments to the FIFA Statutes, while other points on the agenda include the affiliation of Montenegro as the 208th member of FIFA, the presentation of the consolidated and revised balance sheet and the profit and loss accounts as well as approval of the financial statements and the 2008 budget. The Congress will then conclude with the installation of the new vice-presidents and the members of the Executive Committee. The following day, the FIFA Executive Committee will resume their work at a constitutive meeting.
And finally, to ensure that there is also pleasure after business, the delegates will attend their now traditional farewell party after the Congress has been closed. After a boat trip on lake Zurich, the day will end with an informal event at the ?Kongresshaus’ in Zurich.