In Support Of Joseph S. Blatter For FIFA President!

Date Published: 
1998-05-23
Source: 
concacaf.com

Joseph "Sepp" Blatter

A programme - a philosophy - a message

Dear friends, did you know that more than 200 million people - about 40 million of them girls and young women - play the game of association football around the world? And did you know that the extended football family, comprising the crowds in the stadia and the multitude of televiewers, makes up a fifth of the earth's population - in other words, 1.2 thousand million people?

It is therefore no exaggeration to describe football as the universal game, an intrinsic and all-pervading component of every segment of contemporary society; be it social, cultural, economic or political.

Football - the quintessential team game - stands for basic education, character formation and fighting spirit, allied with respect and discipline. It holds the promise of social advancement and the technical and scientific research it generates makes a valuable contribution to public health. Football is synonymous with theatre and entertainment and is hence an unparalleled media attraction. It can even spark artistic creativity in painting, sculpture and dance and, of course, creates jobs for a lot of people. But, first and foremost, it is an endless source of passion and excitement.

It stirs the emotions and can move its enthusiasts to tears of joy or frustration like no other game and it belongs to everyone.

Safeguarding its human touch, its unique spirit and its constant challenge but, in particular, its universality, will be my main objective and the basis of my programme, my philosophy and my message, as well as being an apt response to the numerous appeals I have received from the national associations, clubs and individuals who have chosen me as their candidate for the FIFA presidency.

And this is how I intend to achieve these objectives:

1. I shall open the doors of football's international summit to those who play the game's principal role: the players, coaches and referees.

2. I shall work closely with all the components of our organisation: the national associations, confederations, leagues and clubs and I shall foster closer relations with other international sports organisations, especially with the IOC.

3. I shall cultivate an open dialogue with our partners on the social, cultural, economic, and political planes.

4. I shall set up a permanent communication network, not only with all branches of the media, but with the entire football community. I shall step up my efforts to improve partnership with the television companies that broadcast football for the mutual benefit of all concerned.

Mounting my programme on a firm foundation of reciprocal trust, discipline and mutual respect, will trigger a vast publicity drive for our sport around the world and - reinforced by the message of fair play - will be instrumental in fostering understanding among all people across the globe.

Football for all - all for football !

You will find out more about my programme inside. Thank you for your attention and support. FOOTBALL IS MOVEMENT

Because it offers young people and millions of sportsmen and women the perfect opportunity to keep on the move, stay active and share in the pleasure of a common game. Football is both moving and inspiring. It can help shed inhibitions and break down social barriers. The ball is our globe and, like the globe, it never stands still.

FOOTBALL IS SOLIDARITY

Because it fosters understanding among like-minded people and calls for mutual respect and discipline among players and spectators. It is educational and character forming.

FOOTBALL IS ENTERTAINMENT

Because it contains all the ingredients of classical theatre, across the entire spectrum. It is the source and the focus of worldwide communication and a significant economic factor of our times. Football is fascination.

FOOTBALL IS RELATIONSHIP

Because it forges strong bonds among people of all ages, origins, races and creeds. Football unites us and is our common passion. We all speak its universal language.

My objectives are:

More solidarity: the FIFA family has to be made more aware of the close ties that bind it. Its expectations and aspirations are not always compatible. Does football's future lie in commerce or is it all about social, educational and cultural issues?

That is why I am prompted to prove that FIFA is the embodiment of team spirit and mutual support and to aim at harnessing the global game to promote a sense of cohesion among all those who care. The FIFA family reunion, the Congress, should therefore take place annually in future instead of only every two years.

Fewer discrepancies: some football associations have grown affluent whereas others are still less privileged. A serious effort must be made to bridge this gap.

That is why I advocate increased support for the smaller associations. I want to help them improve their infrastructure and their know-how and make sure they acquire better means of communication, as well as lending them financial aid for concrete projects. What is more, it has already been confirmed that every national association will receive a share of one million dollars - over a period of four years - from the television and marketing revenues. The confederations will receive 10 million dollars over the same period.

Improved integration: where would FIFA stand without the member national associations and their clubs and what would football be without players, coaches and referees? The representation of the confederations in FIFA is currently still not ideally balanced. The actual protagonists should be allowed to have a bigger say.

That is why I want to see a more equitable distribution of responsibilities in FIFA committees and plan to enable all the confederations in future to have a permanent delegate in the FIFA general secretariat. Furthermore, I want to offer a more effective platform to players, coaches and referees by actively integrating them into world football's decision-making process, along the same lines as the physicians and administrative officials.

Improved health and injury prevention: football-related injuries which could be prevented are all too commonplace. Recognising their causes and counteracting them is also FIFA's concern.

I, therefore, want to promote the necessary research and widely implement preventive measures, while sensitising players and coaches to the extreme importance of their participation in the relevant programmes. I shall also make it my business to see that an effort is made to improve comfort and the amenities at sports grounds and in the stadia and to push hard for better safety measures.

Equal rights for women Football is not just a men's game. There is a whole host of women and girls who enjoy playing it too and they have a right to proper acceptance and support.

For this reason I intend to push ahead with the development of football for women, which has already made huge strides, and to make sure that FIFA gives added support to countries which lack the necessary structures.

Brighter prospects for our youth Football is a source of fascination to every child. Playing in a team instils important qualities in young people which stand them in good stead later in life, such as discipline, mutual respect and strength of character.

I shall therefore continue to treat youth programmes and competitions at all levels as one of my top priorities.

Modern management
FIFA has evolved from a humble sports association into a dynamic world organisation. The existing structures are too unwieldy and intricate and no longer correspond to the current circumstances.

FIFA must therefore continue its transformation into a highly professional organisation with modern structures. The establishment of an executive board, comprising seven members of the plenary executive committee, capable of convening monthly meetings, will expedite the decision-making process and produce greater efficiency. I am, incidentally, in favour of limiting the duration of the term of office of the president to two four-year mandates.

JSB for President
The game must stay a game

I am still committed to football today because I am convinced that this game of ours must evolve as it passes safely into the third millennium. I love sport too much, and this sport above all, to just stand by and watch. I feel I have a duty to make an active contribution to the direction it takes, and the philosophy behind it.

In wishing to team up with FIFA I want to continue to stand up for my ideas. Those I upheld on the pitch when I was a player. Those that I've tried to pass on to the international players I coached for France: the joy of the game, and the pleasure of winning.

I have spoken about my ideas at great length with Sepp Blatter, the General Secretary of FIFA. His vision of football's future - I am happy to say -coincides exactly with my own and this is why he has my backing. The success and standing of football in the world today can to a large degree be attributed to Joseph Blatter. He is a clever, charismatic and multilingual communicator, endowed with the exceptional talent of being able to move, motivate, inspire and bring together people of all kinds.

We must now convince the national associations, as well as the more than 200 million football lovers, players, coaches and referees that our ideas merit their attention. I would ask them, and those electing the new FIFA President next June, to allow our ideas to flourish. Our goal is to guide football safely into the 21st century, by taking every care to protect its greatest asset: the game itself.

Michel Platini

The people's game

Michel Platini, the football virtuoso - an idol, a key figure and a vehement advocate of football as a sport for everyone - is the ideal partner to help me achieve my objectives. I am therefore very happy to have him at my side, because we both speak the same universal language of football.

Joseph S. Blatter