Return To Open Bidding Procedure For World Cup As From 2018
As from 2018, the hosting of the FIFA Worid Cup™ will cease to be rotated. Under the chairmanship of President Joseph S. Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee unanimously passed a decision on 29 October 2007 to abandon the principle (originally introduced in the year 2000) of rotating the men’s World Cup from continent to continent. The confederations whose associations have hosted the two preceding World Cups will not be eligible to bid, however. Consequently, all the associations from Asia, North and Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania and Europe may bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.
“The rotation principle has served its purpose and has enabled us to award our most prestigious competition to Africa for the first time and to South America for thefirsttime in manyyears,” commented Blatter. “Since several associations from different confederations have already declared their interest in bidding, the FIFA executive came to the conclusion that as from 2018 the bidding procedure should once again be open to all continents, except those parts of the world that have hosted the two previous tournaments.”
In the medium term, however, FIFA’s sights are set on the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. In Africa, the World Cup preliminary competition will also serve as the qualifying competition fortheAfricaCupof Nations 2010. After consulting all of the confederations, additional international match dates were approved for 2008, in accordance with the international match calendar.
Furthermore, the question of ticket sales for South Africa 2010 was discussed. It is intended that the associations that have qualified to take part will now be allocated 12% (previously 8%) of purchasable tickets for the group matches of the finals whereas the allocation for the knockout stages will remain at 8%. Since the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, FIFA has reassumed responsibility for ticket sales and will establish a company named “2010 FIFA World Cup Ticketing Ltd” to this end. In addition, on account of the distances involved, a programme for tour operators will be launched to enable certified and authorised companies to offer combined ticket and travel package deals.
In accordance with various decisions passed by the FIFA Congress in Zurich on 30 and 31 May 2007, the FIFA executive approved a number of regulations, including the Club Licensing Regulations, the revised Players’ Agents Regulations and amendments to the Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players. The new provisions include jurisprudence from previous cases with regard to players’ status and a new prohibition on third-party influence on transfers.
Moreover, a new article in the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes is intended to ensure that clubs may only qualify for a higher division on sporting merit so as to prevent a recurrence of cases such as that of Spanish club Granada 74. The exact wording of this article will be submitted to the next meeting of the Executive Committee and subsequently ratified by the FIFA Congress. The executive also approved the Standard Electoral Code for associations, a Standard Cooperation Agreement between associations and government bodies, National Dispute Resolution Chamber Standard Regulations as well as the establishment of a company under the name of FIFA Transfer Matching System GmbH. The purpose of this company is to compare international transfers and to prevent such abuses as agents representing minors, or money laundering in player transfers.
The FIFA executive reiterated that it was essential to raise refereeing to professional status and incorporate referees’ organisations into association structures to meet the ever increasing demands made on them. The executive approved a two-part plan with a preparation programme for prospective referees for 2010 and for further development of refereeing at association level, for which USD 37.5 million has been set aside.
With regard to finances, the executive was informed that FIFA’s four-year budget for the 2007-2010 cycle had been adjusted as a result of increased revenue on the one hand and additional activities and obligations on the other. The new budget shows income of USD 3.2 billion and expenses of USD 2.96 billion. As a result of the revised budget, FIFA expects its eguity to increase to USD 800 million by 2010. The new estimate will be submitted to the 2008 FIFA Congress for ratification.