ZURICH: Sepp Blatter’s flying visits to the controversy capitals of world football are all on the agenda for the FIFA executive committee on the eve of next week’s World Cup finals draw in Brazil writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Apart from all the regular reports on competitions completed and competitions to come, the world federation’s governing body will hear at first hand in Salvador next Wednesday and Thursday the latest state of affairs in the game’s trouble spots after the president’s latest diplomatic shuttle service.
These are headed by the Qatar 2022 World Cup after a fraught month with the hosting assailed by labour and human rights negativity over the medieval kafala system of tied employment, a system brought into ‘added-value’ disrepute by the Zahir Belounis affair.
Next comes Blatter’s assessment of the complex and tortuously slow progress in devising a deal between Kosovo and Serbia followed by what will be a more positive report on the memorandum of understanding between the two football bodies in Cyprus.
Finally Blatter will report on attempts to ease the intractable impasse over the freedom of movement of sportsmen and women in and out of Palestine.
A further twist to the Palestine issue is the national football association’s bid to host FIFA Congress in 2017, a prospect full of diplomatic complexities. This will come up further down the agenda when the exco decides on venues for congress in both 2016 and 2017.
The 2015 election congress is already scheduled for ‘home turf’ in Zurich.