IOC, FIFA DISCUSS PLAYER PARTICIPATION FOR SYDNEY OLYMPIC GAMES
Lausanne, 1 March 2000 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Football Federation Association (FIFA) arrived at an agreement in principle today in Lausanne that would enable players who are committed to club play to also participate in the Sydney Olympic Games. Both organizations also confirmed the age limit in Sydney will be 23 years old for all but three players on each team.
The IOC President met with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and other football officials at IOC headquarters primarily to discuss the impact of the Olympic Games on the international football calendar. Representing FIFA along with President Blatter were: Dr. Antonio Matarrese, vice president of FIFA and the European Union of Football Association (UEFA); Mr. Michel Zen-Ruffinen, FIFA secretary general; Mr. Walter Gagg, FIFA technical director; Mr. Jerome Champagne, advisor to the President; and Mr. Andreas Herren, FIFA communications director. Representing the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was Mr. Matthieu Reeb, CAS secretary general. Representing the IOC along with the IOC President were: Mr. Franco Carraro, IOC member; Mrs. Francoise Zweifel, IOC secretary general and Mr. Pere Miro, IOC director of NOC relations and of Olympic Solidarity.
In order for the agreement to come into effect, both FIFA and UEFA will have to take further action concerning the scheduling of certain European football matches and the shortening of the period before which players would have to be available to their Olympic teams. The IOC and FIFA today discussed reducing this period from 14 days to five. FIFA’s Executive Board will review this issue on 23 and 24 March.
The IOC President said he was pleased with today’s progress and with the coordination between the two organizations. FIFA President and IOC Member Joseph Blatter thanked the IOC for awarding one of its Women and Sport Trophies to the Chinese National Women’s Football Team as a recognition of an outstanding example of sporting excellence to women athletes.
Other points on today’s agenda included the reforms voted by the IOC 110th Session last December, the issue of a football court of arbitration, the cooperation between FIFA and the United Nations, the situation of international sports federations based in Switzerland, and the joint development program between the FIFA and Olympic Solidarity.