FIFA Exco Pulls Vote on Age and Term Limits off Congress Reform Agenda

May 29, 2013

By Keir Radnedge

A decision on the contentious issues of age and term limits for members of the FIFA executive has been put back at least a year – by the executive itself.

The reform issues both featured on the agenda for the world football federation’s congress here on the Indian Ocean island in Mauritius later this week.

However the inability of senior figures – including president Sepp Blatter – to reach agreement on either issue prompted the exco to push the issue back until next year’s congress in Sao Paulo.

Blatter himself, maybe with an eye on his own possible pursuit of re-election in 2015 when he would be 79 – had already expressed a personal opposition to age limits.

Several of the six regional confederations disagreed on term limits. Several were also concerned by Blatter’s caution that he would expect age and term limits to be mimicked down through the confederations and national associations.

No consensus

A formal statement here in Port Louis after today’s exco meeting said: “As no consensus has been reached among the member associations and their confederations on the agenda items ‘term of office’ and ‘age limits’, a more thorough analysis is required.

“Therefore, both items will be examined further and the Congress will be asked to put them back on the agenda of the 2014 FIFA Congress with concrete proposals.”

Age and term limits had been considered an important plank among the governance reform proposals recommended by Basel professor Mark Pieth and his independent advisory panel in the bid to rid FIFA of the image of a self-perpetuating gerontocracy.

All other reform proposals were approved by the exco which also endorsed a resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination.

Regarding FIFA’s competitions, the executive decided to award Portugal the 2015 Beach Soccer World Cup and Colombia the 2016 Futsal World Cup 2016.

Other tournament bids

U-20 Women’s World Cup 2016 (Norway, Republic of Ireland, South Africa)

U-17 Women’s World Cup 2016 (Bahrain, Jordan, Republic of Ireland, South Africa)

U-20 World Cup 2017  (Bahrain, France, Korea Republic, Mexico, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia, Ukraine)

U-17 World Cup 2017 (India, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Uzbekistan)

Beach Soccer World Cup 2017  (Argentina, Bahrain, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, India, Israel, Mexico, Seychelles, South Africa, Turkey)

The hosts of these tournaments will be appointed in December 2013.

** New CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo has been appointed to chair the FIFA World Cup Organising Committee.


Keir Radnedge has been covering football worldwide for more than 40 years, writing 33 books, from tournament guides to comprehensive encyclopedias, aimed at all ages.

His journalism career included The Daily Mail for 20 years as well as The Guardian and other national newspapers and magazines in the UK and around the world. He is a former editor, and remains a lead columnist, with World Soccer, generally recognised as the premier English language magazine on global football.

In addition to his writing, Keir has been a regular analyst for BBC radio and television, Sky Sports, Sky News, Aljazeera and CNN.

Keir Radnedge’s Twitter: @KeirRadnedge

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