All the trouble involving Brazil’s 2014 World Cup preparations and concerns about human rights in Qatar which should host the Cup in 2022 are expected to be the main talking points at next week’s FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Salvador da Bahia, in the Brazilian northeast.
Ongoing delays at several of the six stadiums still to be completed, coupled with safety concerns sparked by the tragic deaths of two workers at São Paulo’s under-construction stadium on Wednesday following a crane collapse, are major worries for FIFA.
FIFA released the agenda for the December 4/5 ExCo meeting. It will come a day after crunch meetings of the LOC and FIFA’s own organizing committee for the World Cup take place.
President Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke head out to Brazil this weekend for a week of FIFA meetings and the December 6 World Cup draw.
The issue of human rights abuses of World Cup construction workers and footballers playing in Qatar, highlighted by the case of Zahir Belounis who was stranded for two years following a contractual dispute, is expected to be discussed.
FIFA’s ruling body will hear from Blatter about his trip to Qatar earlier this month and the assurances received from the emir of the Gulf nation under item 12 on the FIFA agenda focused on sports political matters.
Blatter has also said the ExCo will discuss progress of the FIFA consultation launched last month to seek alternative dates for the Qatar 2022 World Cup to avoid the desert nation’s sizzling summer heat.
Although AFC president Sheikh Salman is leading the task force consulting with World Cup stakeholders, which is not due to be completed until the last quarter of 2014, Blatter has hinted in recent weeks that he favors a November or December window for the 2022 tournament.
Also up for discussion at next week’s ExCo is the landmark agreement for the organization of football in Cyprus following the signing of a provisional arrangement by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) and Cyprus Turkish Football Association (CTFA).
Efforts by the Palestine FA in tandem with a FIFA task force to resolve restrictions on the movement of players, officials and football equipment between the state and Israel is another key agenda item.
This week the AFC Executive Committee backed the PFA’s mission after hearing concerns voiced by its president, General Jibril Al Rajoub, at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur that footballers were still suffering due to restrictions. He cited examples of the denial of entry permits to officials, including FIFA and AFC representatives.
Next week’s ExCo will also decide the hosts of the FIFA tournaments and congresses for 2016 and 2017.