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Acting President granted observer status by FIFA

OFC, Auckland: The Acting President of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), Mr Tautulu Roebeck, has been granted observer status on the FIFA executive committee replacing former president, Basil Scarsella.

The decision was made in Doha, Qatar prior to the FIFA extraordinary congress on 19-20 October 2003.

In his new function, Mr Roebeck will attend future FIFA executive committee meetings alongside the OFC delegate to the FIFA Executive Committee, currently Mr `Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga.

Returning from Doha last week, Mr Roebeck said he was elated with his appointment and was pleased with the outcome of a meeting between himself and the FIFA president, Joseph S. Blatter, where he took the opportunity to outline key areas the OFC will be focussing its efforts in the months ahead.

“It was a fruitful meeting and to be acknowledged in this manner was recognition of our commitment to move forward and bring stability to the region,” explained Mr Roebeck.

“Our confederation has identified areas of focus, especially in the area of youth development where priority must be given, and I hope to make a difference in my new role.”

The Samoan-born Roebeck led an OFC delegation which also comprised Australian Soccer Association representative, Mr Michael Thompson, making a presentation to the Bureau for the FIFA World Cup 2006 on proposed qualifying paths for Oceania. While a final decision was postponed till December in Frankfurt, Germany, where the World Cup Organising Committee and FIFA executive committee would next meet, Mr Roebeck remained positive.

“The outcome may not have gone our way in Doha, but a final decision is still pending,” he said.

“Until then, we will be reviewing our proposal with FIFA and hope to reach an amicable solution that reflects fair play for all.”

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