Follow us on

Media Release

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

55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter with Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, President of the new Member Association of Timor-Leste in 2005
© 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

In his address to some 1,000 association delegates, guests and media representatives on Monday, 12 September 2005, the second day of the 55th Ordinary FIFA Congress in Marrakech, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter gave a generally positive overview of the current state of football. However, at the same time, he drew the football family's urgent attention to a number of challenges that FIFA must actively address and conquer. "We should in essence be able to live in a wonderful world thanks to the beautiful game, but some parts of today's football world are sadly not as wonderful as they should be. That is why we must take stock of the problems that face us, analyse them and find solutions," Blatter said.

At the FIFA President's request, the delegates endorsed the creation of the FIFA Task Force for the Good of the Game by 198 votes to 1. It will be composed of experts and representatives from all the key groups of the international football family and will report directly to the FIFA Executive Committee.

In his address, the FIFA President underlined the need for increased solidarity within the game. "The gap between football's rich and poor is widening, as is the imbalance between associations and leagues," Blatter said. "We have to fight this alarming trend. The structure of the football pyramid, with players and clubs forming the base that support the associations and confederations and FIFA at the apex, must be defended for the good of the game."

Blatter also made reference to various challenges that need to be addressed, including the  failure to comply with decisions issued by football bodies, recourse to civil courts and interference from political bodies. The FIFA President warned of the dangers of certain football leagues' quest for independence, multiple club ownership and the growing lack of national identity at club level. He also spoke of the threats posed by doping, discrimination, corruption and betting.

At the same time, Blatter appealed to the conscience of the delegates. "The associations must be managed more professionally. It is no longer possible to work on a voluntary basis alone. An association must be run like a business," the FIFA President said.

Blatter drew positive conclusions in relation to FIFA's development programmes. Every year, world football's governing body re-invests somewhere in the region of 70% of its revenue into development activities and the organisation of football tournaments at various levels. "The house of football I spoke of at my first Congress in Los Angeles in 1999 has now come to fruition in the great majority of nations. Thanks to the Goal Programme, every FIFA member association will have its own headquarters and a training centre by the end of 2006."

These efforts are being supplemented by humanitarian initiatives that include partnerships with the United Nations and many of its bodies and agencies, SOS Children's Villages and countless other non-governmental organisations. Together with the International Olympic Committee, FIFA will also give its first ever presentation to the World Economic Forum next year in Davos (Switzerland) in order to highlight the social and cultural importance of football and sport in general.

In its first ever Congress on African soil, FIFA reported on its plans for a worldwide campaign to prevent football-related injuries as well as various other medical initiatives.

Enquiries to be addressed to:
FIFA Media Department - tel.: +41-43/222 7272, fax: +41-43/222 7373, E-mail: media@fifa.org
FIFA COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION  / Marrakech, 11 September 2005 / 2005-0081-CongressMarrakechPSpeech-E.doc

FIFA Congress History

  • 55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005

    55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005
    In his address at the FIFA Congress, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter gave a generally positive overview of the current state of football.
  • 56th FIFA Congress, Munich 2006

    56th FIFA Congress, Munich 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.”
  • 63rd FIFA Congress, Mauritius 2013

    63rd FIFA Congress, Mauritius 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.
  • 64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 2014

    64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 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.
  • 65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 2015

    65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 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."
  • Extraordinary FIFA Congress, Zurich 2016

    Extraordinary FIFA Congress, Zurich 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.
  • 66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 2016

    66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 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.
  • 67th FIFA Congress, Manama 2017

    67th FIFA Congress, Manama 2017

    FIFA’s 211 member associations assembled in May 2017 in Manama, Bahrain for the 67th FIFA Congress. The organisation’s supreme body made a few important decisions to validate reports on FIFA’s activities in 2016 and, more importantly, to agree on key steps for the future of the organisation.