72nd FIFA Congress

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72nd FIFA Congress: Doha

On 31 March 2022, the 72nd FIFA Congress took place in Doha – on the eve of the Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – with President Gianni Infantino announcing his intention to stand for re-election in 2023.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino used the platform offered by the 72nd FIFA Congress in Doha to make a plea for world peace and informed delegates from the 210 member associations (MAs) in attendance about the launch of the next iteration of the FIFA Forward Programme, Forward 3.0, while also revealing his intention to stand for re-election at the 73rd FIFA Congress.

Staged on the eve of the Final Draw for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the 72nd FIFA Congress convened in person for the first time in three years, and although COVID-19 pandemic restrictions resulted in several MAs joining virtually, delegates looked ahead to the upcoming tournament – the first edition to be hosted in the Arab world.

President Infantino also called on world leaders to engage in dialogue to bring an end to war and conflict. “We live in an aggressive world, in a divided world, but I’m a big believer in the power of football to bring people together and to cross cultural boundaries,” he said in reference to ongoing wars across the globe. 

“Nelson Mandela said that sport has the power to change the world. Football is the world sport. We aren’t naïve to believe football can solve the world’s problems. Once this terrible conflict is over and all other conflicts around the world as well, hopefully very soon, football can play a small part in rebuilding relationships, in establishing peace and understanding – and we’ll be there at the forefront of doing that.”

“My plea to all of those who have some power in this world, to all of those who are in important political positions in the world, please, please stop conflicts and wars,” he added. 

Nelson Mandela said that sport has the power to change the world. Football is the world sport.
Gianni Infantino
FIFA President

“Please, for our children, for our future. Please engage in dialogue, even with your worst enemy. Please try to come together. And football will be there and will help in working together for peace. Because we have to learn again to live together and we have to learn again what it means to live together.”

Regarding the Future of Football project, the FIFA President reiterated world football governing body’s commitment to developing football, increasing global competitivenessand continuing the ongoing pledge to eradicate all forms of discrimination within the game.

The FIFA President, together with several delegates, spoke about the FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar and the positive impact and legacy that the tournament could bring. The agenda also included addresses from His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar, and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

In the context of the FIFA Annual Report 2021, the Congress approved FIFA’s consolidated financial statements and statutory financial statements for 2021, as well as an amendment to article 9 of the FIFA Statutes. The FIFA President then concluded the Congress by stating his intention to stand for re-election in 2023.

Human rights: the path to progress

FIFA underlined its commitment to protecting rights and improving the welfare of everyone involved in delivering FIFA competitions. Delegates at the 72nd FIFA Congress were shown a film charting the progress made in the 12 years since Qatar was awarded the rights tohost the FIFA World Cup.

Human rights: the path to progress profiles how in 2010, when the FIFA World Cup 2022™ was awarded to Qatar, urgent calls were made for labour reforms. The film hears from a number of leading lobbyists and experts in international workers’ rights, offers an overview of some of the progress achieved to date and highlights that necessary further work would continue during and beyond the tournament.

Dr Tedros takes to the stage

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also addressed the 72nd FIFA Congress, where he underscored the important role that football had to play in helping the global population to live healthy lives.

“The World Health Organization’s partnership with FIFA is one of the most powerful opportunities to beat the global threat of non-communicable diseases, including heart and lung diseases, diabetes and cancers, which are responsible for over 70% of diseases globally,” said Dr Tedros. “This partnership will deliver help globally.”

“Leveraging the inspiration and influence of football, we all have a unique opportunity to help young people and all our communities lead healthy lives through improved physical activity, healthy diet, and saying ‘no’ to tobacco.” 

Dr Tedros also had words of appreciation for the work being carried out by Qatar and its Ministry of Public Health. “Qatar might be small in size, but it’s large in stature,” he said. “I especially thank them for the role they have played in supporting the WHO emergency operations in Afghanistan over the past year.” 

“We very much appreciate their support for protecting and promoting the health of people all over the world, but I want you to know that we’re also committed to protecting and promoting the health of the people of Qatar.”

The signing of a four-year memorandum of understanding between the WHO and FIFA in 2019 kick-started a range of joint initiatives in a show of commitment from both organisations to promote health for all.