IOC and FIFA discuss Common Ground
The Olympic Museum in Lausanne played host Tuesday evening to a 10-member delegation from FIFA, led by FIFA President Joseph Blatter and including Vice President Issa Hayatou (both members of the IOC) and Secretary General Urs Linsi, who came to meet IOC President Jacques Rogge, Director General Urs Lacotte and Chief of Staff Christophe De Kepper, along with several IOC directors.
The IOC and FIFA meet annually to cover a number of points common to both organisations, which are then followed up in the day-to-day work of each organisation's administration.
Both Presidents Rogge and Blatter made special note of the "exemplary" collaboration between their organisations, especially on the medical front and in the fight against doping, noting particularly the studies on the health of athletes and sudden death. President Rogge said, "The collaboration between the IOC and FIFA in medical fields that benefit the athletes is very encouraging."
President Blatter congratulated the IOC on the success of the Athens Games and also hailed the cooperation between the two international sports bodies as very successful. Moreover, President Blatter thanked the IOC and its President for their continuous support of football. In this respect, the two presidents also touched upon the Olympic programme and the Olympic football tournaments. For the latter, the FIFA President pointed out that, for Beijing 2008, the eligibility rules for the men’s tournament as already agreed before would remain unchanged.
Both presidents also considered as very important their joint efforts for the autonomy of sport and protection against governmental interference. In recent years, FIFA has noted that such interference is increasingly occurring in an ever more sophisticated manner. The IOC and FIFA deem it crucial to continue and reinforce their cooperation for the preservation of sports autonomy, with a view to convincing other international federations to join them in their efforts.
In the area of development work and support, the IOC and FIFA coordinate their activities under the joint Olympic Solidarity programme. The IOC noted that, in addition to the excellent work accomplished by FIFA in terms of financial assistance and development, there was still a great demand for Olympic Solidarity courses and other initiatives in cooperation with FIFA for which the IOC spent USD 1.1 million over the period 2001 – 2004.
Also highlighted in the meeting was the close collaboration between the two organisations last year to open in November 2004 as part of the FIFA Centennial celebrations the Olympic Museum exhibition entitled "100 Years of Planet Football – FIFA 1904-2004". This commemorative exhibition, covering the history of football from the founding of FIFA to its current activities, has been a great success so far, with more than 50,000 visitors, and will run until 8 May 2005.