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Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association
FIFA-Strasse 20 - P.O. Box - 8044 Zurich - Switzerland
Tel: +41-(0)43-222 7777

57th FIFA Congress, Zurich 2007

Montenegro is the 208th member of FIFA
© FIFA.com

Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

FIFA-Strasse 20 - P.O. Box - 8044 Zurich - Switzerland

Tel: +41-(0)43-222 7777 - Fax: +41-(0)43.222 7878

The FIFA Congress convened at the Zurich Hallenstadion today, Thursday, 31 May. Incumbent President Joseph S. Blatter has been confirmed, by acclamation, in his position for a third term of office and Montenegro have been admitted, again by acclamation, as FIFA's 208 th member.

As anticipated, Joseph S. Blatter, the eighth President in FIFA's history, has been granted a third period of office (see separate media release). Almost all of the members of world football's supreme body were present to witness his re-election. The only absentee was the Kuwait Football Association. Following the admission of Montenegro there were 207 member associations in attendance, although only the associations of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau were not to entitled to vote as they had not met the statutory requirements regarding minimum participation in FIFA competitions. Consequently, 205 associations had the right to vote, leaving the simple majority at 103 votes, and the three-quarter majority required for amendments to the FIFA Statutes at 154 votes.

Blatter's re-election and the admission of Montenegro were both confirmed by a round of applause. Retired football star Dejan Savicevic, who is now the President of the Montenegrin association, thanked the FIFA family on behalf of the new member. The Football Association of Montenegro, founded in 1931, was for many years part of the former Yugoslavia, but the association has now been admitted as a member in its own right in the wake of Montenegro's recent independence.

One of the main points on the congress agenda was a report from the Task Force "For the Good of the Game". The congress approved various principles and gave the Executive Committee the mandate to implement them, and with 204 votes for and none against, the congress also gave the go-ahead for the newly formed Strategic Committee to continue with the task force's work (see separate media release). This committee will ultimately grow into an international football forum with key figures from all sectors of football, including representatives of the players and the clubs.

The congress also ratified a number of amendments to the FIFA Statutes. As such, FIFA is now entitled to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against any doping decisions passed by its member associations or by the confederations (202 votes, 1 against). This right of appeal is an important step in the fight against doping and it brings FIFA into line with the World Anti-Doping Code. With 198 votes for and only three against, the congress also strengthened FIFA's position by approving an amendment to article 62 of the statutes. As a result, the associations are now obliged to insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating that disputes affecting the football family may not be taken to ordinary courts of law.

In addition, article 13 of the FIFA Statutes now requires each association to create an independent Referees Committee that is directly subordinate to the association (204 votes, 1 against). Finally, with 198 votes for and only five against, the congress also approved a proposal that in future, FIFA may as a general rule only bestow the title of Honorary Vice-President or Honorary Member on former members of the FIFA Executive Committee.

At the start of proceedings this morning, the FIFA Congress approved - virtually unanimously and by acclamation - the agenda for the 2007 congress, the minutes of the 2006 congress in Munich, the FIFA Activity Report and FIFA's finances. In his explanation of FIFA's current financial situation, General Secretary Urs Linsi noted that by the end of the 2003-2006 period, FIFA had considerably surpassed its original equity target of CHF 500 million as the governing body now had equity amounting to CHF 752 million. Looking ahead to the 2007-2010 period, Linsi predicted a more modest increase to USD 850 million, explaining that FIFA would be increasing its development budget by 50 per cent from USD 457 million to USD 690 million in order to meet its many responsibilities. Next year's FIFA Congress will take place in Sydney, Australia between 28 and 30 May 2008.

FIFA Congress History

  • 1908

    1908
    The 1908 Congress in Vienna is dominated by political issues. Whereas Norway and Finland are admitted to FIFA unopposed, the request for admission from Scotland and Northern Ireland gives rise to a heated debate.
  • 1909

    1909
    On 30 May 1909, FIFA President Daniel Burley Woolfall welcomed delegates from 13 member associations to the sixth Congress in the short history of world football’s governing body.
  • 1910

    1910
    Only 11 years after FIFA’s foundation, President Woolfall was already able to look back on a number of successes. In his opening speech, he noted that FIFA had been of great assistance to the game and provided an excellent means of fostering understanding between the individual associations, thus ensuring uniformity of action.
  • 1913

    1913
    The 10th Congress, the first major anniversary Congress in FIFA’s young history, was not celebrated in any special way. Delegates were looking forward more to FIFA’s tenth birthday a year later, and focused instead on the controversial items on the agenda.
  • 1929

    1929
    Twenty-three associations were present in Barcelona in 1929 when Jules Rimet's dream of an international tournament began to take shape - only twelve months after it had first been discussed at the Congress in Amsterdam.
  • 1934

    1934
    The Capitol in Rome was the venue for the 22nd FIFA Congress in 1934, to which President Jules Rimet welcomed delegates from 27 countries. The second FIFA World Cup™ was fast approaching and recently introduced measures crucial to FIFA’s future were on the agenda at the Congress in Rome.
  • 1946

    1946
    The representatives of the 34 associations attending the first FIFA Congress staged after the Second World War pass several far-reaching decisions.
  • 1964

    1964
    If one had to pinpoint when Africa made its breakthrough on the international sporting scene, the 1960s would likely stand out. Although formal decolonisation had begun some years earlier, it was beginning to have an increasingly noticeable effect in the sporting world.
  • 1984

    1984
    The 1984 FIFA Congress saw the celebration of two anniversaries – President João Havelange’s tenth year in office and FIFA’s 80th birthday. To commemorate the founding of FIFA 80 years earlier, in Paris on 21 May 1904, the 44th Congress was opened on precisely the same date in 1984.
  • 1996

    1996
    Former President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, who passed away recently, was one of the guests of honour at the jubilee Congress in Zurich in 1996. In his speech, he emphasised football’s special status as the world’s most popular sport and referred to the first Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, to be staged at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • 2003

    2003
    The 2003 FIFA Congress in Doha was not only the first ever to be held in the Middle East but it was also the first to be attended by every member association, at that time numbering 204.
  • 2005

    2005
    In his address at the FIFA Congress, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter gave a generally positive overview of the current state of football.
  • 2006

    2006
    FIFA will be heading into the years ahead with a powerful vision and the slogan “Develop the game, touch the world, build a better future.”
  • 2007

    2007
    Incumbent President Joseph S. Blatter has been confirmed by acclamation for a third term of office and Montenegro have been admitted as FIFA's 208 th member.
  • 2008

    2008
    Convening today in Sydney, the 58th FIFA Congress voted with a significant majority (155 yes, 5 no) in favour of a resolution on 6+5.
  • 2009

    2009
    Following the 59th FIFA Congress in Nassau, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter discussed the progress made to assembled members of the world media.
  • 2010

    2010

    The second day of the 60th FIFA Congress began in Johannesburg this morning, following yesterday's opening ceremony.

  • 2011

    2011

    The opening ceremony of the 61st FIFA Congress in Zurich features a colourful mixture of music and light entertainment. Grace Jones tops the bill.

  • 2012

    2012
    The second day of of the 62nd FIFA Congress has concluded in Budapest and you can now watch the post-meeting press conference here on FIFA.com.
  • 2013

    2013

    Nearly 500 children took part in FIFA Grassroots events and an '11 for Health' workshop in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis as the 63rd FIFA Congress took place Thursday and Friday.

  • 2014

    2014
    Following the budget approval by FIFA’s 64th Ordinary Congress in São Paulo, world football’s governing body is set to invest USD 900 million in football development during the cycle 2015 – 2018.
  • 2015

    2015
    Incumbent FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term of office by the 65th FIFA Congress held in Zurich today. After the first ballot (206 valid votes, 133 for Joseph S. Blatter, 73 for HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein), HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein addressed the Congress to announce that he was “withdrawing from the race."
  • 2016

    2016
    FIFA Member Associations approved a package of landmark reforms that paved the way for significant improvements to the governance of global football, and Gianni Infantino was elected as the ninth FIFA President at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress 2016 held in Zurich.
  • 2016

    2016
    The 66th FIFA Congress kicked off a new era for FIFA and global football with the announcement of a “step change” in FIFA’s investment in football development, new FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, progress on the implementation of the reforms, and the FIFA Legends programme.