Harmony And Protection
In June, I was fortunate enough to attend several UEFA EURO 2008™ matches and I was delighted to witness a high standard of play, the wonderful, peaceful atmosphere both inside and outside the stadiums as well as the excellent organisational skills of the Austrian and Swiss hosts.
Away from the action, I also took the opportunity to meet various European ministers and officials for discussions on how the objectives of “6+5″ can be reached within the limits of European law. After all, the FIFA Congress in Sydney at the end of May ratified the “6+5″ resolution with a significant majority and asked me — together with UEFA President Michel Platini and other FIFA bodies – to use all possible means within the limits of the law to ensure that these objectives are achieved. “6+5″ aims to make sure that at the beginning of each match, each club fields at least six players who are eligible to play for the national team of the country of the club. FIFA has no doubt whatsoever that “6+5″ will safeguard not only the harmony and balance between national team football and club football, but also the education and training of young players. I am also convinced that “6+5″ will bring more balance to club competitions in the future, and with it, more entertainment.
For me, the result of the vote in Sydney – with 155 votes in favour as opposed to only five against – was an emphatic signal that the Congress agreed with my thinking and was fully aware of the immense responsibility that the worldwide FIFA family bears towards football. Tying in with this was the fact that we also signed WAD As World Anti-Doping Code in the fight against doping. I am also delighted that the principle of individual case management has been accepted.
The protection of minors is also another crucial issue. On 6 June, the Home of FIFA played host to a meeting between FIFA, the Confederation of African Football, FIFPro and “Culture Foot Solidaire”, a non-governmental organisation that is dedicated to the ptotection of young African players. World football’s governing body fully supports the activities of “Culture Foot Solidaire” to protect the rights Harmony and protection of young African players, who are naturally attracted by the exciting prospects that they see in football but unfortunately sometimes betrayed by those who present themselves as theit benefactors.
For the Game. For the World.