Doha/Qatar, 17 October 2003: Decisions regarding the play-offs for the four half slots, the formats for the confederations’ qualifying rounds, and the match schedule for the final competition of the 2006 FIFA World CupTM are to be made at the next meeting of the Organising Committee for the FIFA World CupTM (in Frankfurt, early December), and then submitted to the Executive Committee for approval.
This proposal from the Bureau of the Organising Committee for the FIFA World CupTM was today approved by the executive at its meeting in Doha/Qatar. Under the chairmanship of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, the Executive Committee also ratified two further decisions regarding the 2006 FIFA World CupTM: FIFA’s headquarters will be located in Berlin, with the referees’ base in Frankfurt.
In other matters, the Executive Committee also gave its unanimous approval to directives already distributed to the associations, stating that any player who receives two yellow cards in one match, or commits a straight red card offence will be automatically suspended from the next game.
The only exception to this rule will be if there has been an obvious case of mistaken identity. Any national associations that fail to abide by this directive laid down in the FIFA Disciplinary Code will be subject to an investigation by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for failing to adhere to the Code.
The FIFA Executive Committee will also be called upon to make a decision. In this respect, and with specific reference to a current matter in England, the FIFA President lamented the general lack of respect and discipline in certain national associations and clubs, and stressed that the rules and regulations in force must be followed.
With regard to the revised FIFA Statutes, which are to be submitted for approval to the Extraordinary FIFA Congress on 19/20
October, the executive has now proposed two amendments along the following lines of: Article 15 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes (Eligibility to play for association teams):
Any player who has represented an “A” association team shall not be permitted to change associations. This provision applies only for the various age levels below the “A” association team.
Article 10 of the FIFA Statutes (Admission of new members): All applicant associations must be recognised by the “international community”.
The executive also ratified two decisions taken by the Emergency Committee:
the modified match schedule for the Olympic Football Tournaments Athens 2004, according to which the men’s Final will now kick off at 10.00h.
the purchase of the Credit Suisse sports complex in Zurich for the new “Home of FIFA”.
Looking towards the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the executive also approved a proposal tabled by the Finance Committee, suggesting that the areas of Ticketing, Accommodation and IT Solution be organised either by FIFA itself, or by the Match AG company, which has yet to be founded. These decisions will in no way affect the income of the Local Organising Committee as contractually agreed.
On the basis of the report submitted by the official FIFA delegation that visited Antigua & Barbuda in August, the committee lifted the suspension imposed on the country’s association.
The executive also ruled that national associations may choose not to use certain numbers on the back of shirts during matches played under their own jurisdiction – but this decision will not apply to FIFA final competitions.
Finally, the committee also took note of the following:
the decision of the Finance Committee to donate CHF 1 million from FIFA’s Humanitarian Fund to help finance the education of
the children of Cameroon’s Marc-Vivien FoÃ©, who died during the FIFA Confederations Cup in France in June 2003.
the reports from the chairmen of the committees organising this year’s FIFA events: the U-17 World Championship in Finland, the Women’s World Cup in the USA, and the World Youth Championship (U-20) in the United Arab Emirates.
the dates for the Women’s U-19 World Championship in Thailand (10 – 27 November 2004) and the Futsal World Championship in Chinese Taipei (29 November – 19 December 2004).
the report on the meeting of the Board of Directors of FIFA Marketing AG, and the decision to rename the division “FIFA Marketing & TV AG”.