The UEFA Executive Committee today finished its first meeting of 2011 under the chairmanship of UEFA president, Michel Platini.
Top of this morning's agenda was a meeting of the UEFA president and the UEFA Executive Committee with the EU commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, Androulla Vassiliou. This was the first time that a member of the European Commission had visited UEFA, and the UEFA president and Executive Committee were happy to welcome the commissioner to the House of European Football and discuss the details of the recent positive European Commission communication on sport.
The commission communication, published on 18 January, gave its backing to the four cornerstones of the European sports model: open competitions, the pyramid structure of competitions with the principles of promotion and relegation, organisation of sport on a national basis, and financial solidarity between grassroots and professional sport.
Regarding recent correspondence between FIFA and the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) sent on 24 January, concerning interference by representatives of the state authorities in the running of the federation, UEFA's Executive Committee agreed to support FIFA's position, which is completely in line with Article 7bis of the Statutes of UEFA.
Thus UEFA has written to the FFU requesting that it take the "necessary concrete steps and provide the relevant confirmations that this has ceased". For avoidance of doubt, suspension of the FFU would entail, inter alia, that clubs affiliated to the FFU will no longer be able to participate in UEFA club competitions and national representative teams from Ukraine will no longer be able to participate in UEFA competitions.
Furthermore, the letter from UEFA informs the FFU that "if the FFU is suspended from membership of UEFA, it was the unanimous view of the UEFA Executive Committee that it would not be tenable to play the final round of the UEFA European Football Championship in Ukraine in 2012".
In addition, as a preventative measure UEFA has therefore decided to place Ukraine in a group of six rather than five for the forthcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championship draw, scheduled for Thursday 3 February, in order to minimise possible disruption in case of suspension of the FFU and therefore exclusion of Ukraine from this competition. The same procedure will also be applied to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Federation (NFSBiH) which is also under risk of suspension.
The Executive Committee was informed of the list of candidates that have applied for election to the UEFA Executive Committee, for a four-year period from 2011-15, at the forthcoming UEFA Congress in Paris, France. The full list of candidates that have applied for the seven seats available on the UEFA Executive Committee and the two seats on the FIFA Executive Committee is published in UEFA media release No008.
A decision on the appointment of the hosts for the 2011 UEFA Futsal Cup finals was also taken. MFK Kairat Almaty and the Football Federation of Kazakhstan (KFF) were selected to stage the finals between 28 April and 1 May – to be played, for the fifth consecutive time, in a final four format with two semi-finals, a third-place match and a final.
The Executive Committee also approved the acceptance of seven new countries to the UEFA Referee Convention – namely, Andorra, England, Georgia, Latvia, Romania, Spain and Ukraine. Finally, the committee approved the agenda and final programme for the forthcoming UEFA Congress in Paris on 22 March. The next Executive Committee meeting will be held in the French capital in the days prior to the XXXV UEFA Ordinary Congress, on 20 and 21 March.
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