64th FIFA Congress opens in Sao Paulo

64th FIFA Congress opens in Sao Paulo

64th FIFA Congress opens in Sao Paulo

The two-day 64th FIFA Congress opened here with proposals for amendments to the FIFA statutes, regulations governing the application of the statutes, and standing orders of the Congress figuring high on the agenda.

High-ranking officials from world football's governing body, its six confederations and 209 member associations attended the opening ceremony Tuesday evening.

Both FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who declared open the Congress, and Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo gave speeches, singing highly of the World Cup in Brazil, reports Xinhua.

The ceremony, which featured awards and artistic shows, was highlighted by a special moment when 80-year-old former French striker Just Fontaine received an Adidas Platinum Boot.

Having scored 13 goals from six matches in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, Fontaine led France to third place and became the most prolific scorer in World Cup history. His record has not been broken yet.

As the 1958 World Cup did not set the Golden Boot award, Fontaine said that he will dedicate the honour to his wife and the then French team.

During the evening, various Orders of Merit were given to Josephine King (OFC), Hassan Shehata (CAF), Mirabror Usmanov (AFC), Jozef Venglos (UEFA), Maria Coto (CONCACAF), Carlos Valderrama (CONMEBOL) and Antonio Mattarese (FIFA).

Alongside the agenda are three enclosures sent to all 209 member associations: FIFA's annual 2013 Activity Report, FIFA's annual 2013 Financial Report and proposals for amendments to the FIFA Statutes, Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes, and Standing Orders of the Congress.

Just before the opening, the FIFA Executive Committee held its meeting, reaffirming its full support to and trust in Brazil to organise a great World Cup which will kick off here Thursday.

The executive also submitted 10 key development principles for women's football to the Congress for approval.

Regarding media allegations of unethical behaviour related to the vote for the 2022 World Cup's host country, the executive reaffirmed its position of letting the Ethics Committee complete its work before making any comment.

It also confirmed the decision of the Finance Committee to donate $2 million to help Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania and Serbia rebuild their football infrastructure which was damaged by the recent floods.

It confirmed that Mexico will replace Canada at the Youth Olympics women's football tournament in Nanjing 2014.

The Congress will conclude Wednesday evening.

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