Unanimity on Special Nature of Sport and Partnership Between Governments and Associations
Representatives of both the political and football world (see composition of the Working Group below) reached a general consensus on the nature of relations between public authorities and the football family. The participants in the meeting emphasised the necessity for the sports movement to be managed independently, while at the same time respecting national laws.
“I’d like to thank the FIFA President for his initiative, which had led to this historic meeting,” said Jean-François Lamour, the French Minister for Youth, Sports and Associations. “A true partnership already exists between the government and sports associations in France, substantiated by an annual agreement on objectives,” he continued. British Sports Minister Richard Caborn explained: “In the UK, there are mutual agreements between public authorities and associations, fans and clubs.”
The FIFA President welcomed these models, commenting: “FIFA is working in this direction with the ultimate aim of establishing such relations all around the world.”
However, with conflict persisting in certain countries and on every continent, the Working Group decided to draft a standard agreement to codify basic relations between governments and associations.
The key question regarding the special nature of sport was discussed from the angle of the European Union that signed the Declaration of Nice in December 2000, which, in keeping with the European constitution’s treaty project, in fact recognised the special nature of sport. The European ministers attending the meeting described the survey on European football being conducted jointly by the EU and UEFA. They also gave an account of the European Commission’s efforts to formulate an appropriate definition of the special nature of sport, including subjects such as the protection of minors, national teams, training, solidarity between amateur and professional football, maintaining a level playing field, the financial health of clubs, and regulating salaries and professions linked to football, especially players’ agents. These topics reflect the very essence of the work undertaken by the Task Force “For the Good of the Game”. President Blatter pointed out: “These questions are not limited to Europe but are relevant to the whole world. It will therefore be interesting to compare the results of these efforts.”
The Working Group for Competitions will be meeting in Zurich today, 17 February.
Composition of the Working Group for Political Matters:Président : Mohamed Raouraoua (Algérie)
Vice-président : Lennart Johansson, UEFA president, representing the confederations
· international football family:
· FIFA senior vice-president Julio Grondona (observer) and FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi
1. AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam CAF president, Issa Hayatou (absent), UEFA president Lennart Johansson, CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer, representing the confederations
2. Polish football association president Michal Listkiewicz, Peruvian football association president Manuel Burga Seoane, representing the member associations
3. president-elect of FIFPro, Gerardo Movilla, representing players
· external experts:
· the French and British Sports Ministers, Jean-Francois Lamour and Richard Caborn respectively
1. the director of the IOC “Olympic Solidarity” committee, Pere Miró (absent).
Further information from:
FIFA Media Department
tel. : +41-43/222 7272
fax: +41-43/222 7373
FIFA COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION / Zurich, 17.02.06 / 2006-018-TaskForce-Political matters-Meeting1-F.doc