FIFA reveals agenda for election day

by AP on May 05, 2011

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Sepp Blatter is set to address world football leaders twice at their congress before they vote in the FIFA presidential election.

FIFA published details of the June 1 meeting on Wednesday, with Blatter's contest against Asian confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam listed 14th on a 17-item agenda.

Blatter will make a formal speech as president, as required by FIFA statutes, and his personal "Zero Tolerance" project is among political matters for debate later.

Blatter has promised to present "something very special" urging FIFA's 208 national members to fight corruption and promote fair play.

Though bin Hammam is not listed as an official speaker, FIFA rules would allow for the Qatari challenger to take the stage.

The agenda can be altered in the room if three-quarters of the members present agree.

FIFA members will be asked on the agenda to give the executive committee greater powers to suspend countries more quickly, and to regulate international matches to help prevent match-fixing.

Football's world governing body will reveal a new project aimed at giving home-trained youngsters more chances to play for their clubs ahead of players signed from abroad.

One year after abandoning Blatter's favoured "6-plus-5" rule that would have broken European Union labour law, FIFA has co-operated with UEFA on a "first-registered players" scheme to introduce quotas "on the match sheet in all top divisions," according to the congress document.

The United Arab Emirates has proposed relaxing a residency rule that allows players to switch international eligibility. It wants the five-year residency requirement for over-18 players reduced to three years, or for it to start from a younger age.

Football leaders will gather in Zurich for an annual congress dominated by FIFA's first presidential election since 2002.

Blatter, who has been in office since 1998, is seeking a fourth four-year term that he says will be his last.

In a foreword to the agenda, the 75-year-old Swiss states that the main topics will be "setting of strategic targets and our finances."

"It is my duty and responsibility within the football family to consolidate our achievements and to provide the basis for ongoing success," Blatter wrote.

The winning candidate will lead an organisation with $US1.28 billion ($A1.17 billion) in reserve funds and spending plans guaranteed by more than $US3.2 billion ($A2.93 billion) of commercial contracts already completed for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

A further $US1.7 billion ($A1.56 billion) in media rights has been sold for the 2018 tournament in Russia and the 2022 event in Qatar.

FIFA election rules require a two-thirds majority of valid votes cast in the first ballot, or a majority in the second.

The federations of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Brunei are currently suspended, and the fourth item of congress business will be a debate on whether they can participate and vote.