PORT LOUIS: Mauritius is a beautiful holiday destination but as a conference venue it has distinct limitations writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Officials and media have been struggling to understand quite why the world football federation chose to head deep into the Indian Ocean for this year’s congress.

Suggestions that this was to deter as many journalists as possible, through both distance and cost, have been roundly rebuffed. After all, FIFA is proud of its reform process and would want to show off progress via as expansive a media message as possible [Michel Platini might question how much progress].

Major hitch has been location, location.

The various delegations have been in wonderful hotels around the island but up to an hour or much more’s distance from each other.

Basic limitations of the island’s road system has thus turned meeting times and appointments into mere approximations. This has also proved, to be fair, immensely frustrating to FIFA’s own harassed officials.

The Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre, around half an hour from Port Louis, looks an impressive facility.

Appearances can be deceptive. Like some of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup stadia there are sections still lacking the final finesse of a sanding-down and a coat of paint.

This can be withstood.

But media arrangements for the formal Opening Ceremony were below FIFA’s usual standards.

The internet was fragile with not only the wifi but also the cable system crashing only to revive minutes before FIFA brought on the dancing girls.

Also, the large media room did not offer any screen facility to broadcast proceedings direct from the convention hall.

Those are basics.

In his welcome notes in the congress brochure, FIFA president Sepp Blatter wrote: “When you mention Mauritius, most people immediately think about picturesque sandy beaches, idyllic bays with crystal clear water and lush island vegetation – in other words, breathtaking natural beauty.”

Exactly: wonderful for a holiday for those can afford it.

As for a major congress . . .