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The Dutch Football Association’s proposal was that not more than one association from each Confederation should be permitted to bid in future.
They needed 144 votes to get their proposal accepted but it was defeated, polling only 87 votes. European rivals England and Germany are both bidding to host the World Cup in 2006.
Harry Been, the secretary of the Dutch F.A., told the Congress: “It has been estimated that $100 million was spent on the bidding procedure for the last Olympic Games – what a waste of money.
“That money could have gone to sport, to development, to young people’s coaching, to training courses, but instead it was spent on bidding procedures. That should stop.”
One proposal adopted was from FIFA’s Executive Committee that a club from one country should not be allowed to take part in a competition based in another country – except in exceptional or well-established geographical circumstances.
The new statute finally ends the plans of Wimbledon, the poorly-supported London-based English premier league club, to re-locate to Dublin.
The only circumstance in which such a move could occur is if both the associations involved back the move. The Wimbledon case, which has rumbled on for four years, appears now to be dead and buried as both the F.A. of Ireland and the English F.A. supported the FIFA proposal.
Another proposal that was rejected by Congress was for the CONCACAF region – North and Central America and the Caribbean – to have one extra seat on FIFA’s Executive Committee.
The move, proposed by Trinidad and Tobago and backed by Canada, was widely interpreted as a device to get Alan Rothenberg, the president of the United States Federation, onto the Executive Board. But the proposal was heavily defeated.
However, it was a memorable day for six countries who were admitted as FIFA members, swelling the number of member associations to 204.
Palestine, Eritrea, Turks and Caicos Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Mongolia were all admitted as new members – Palestine after being provisional members since 1995.
FIFA is continuing with its plans to establish an International Court for Football Arbitration (ICFA) and the Arbitration Tribunal for Football (ATF).
But legal studies will continue for at least two more years, while studies are also continuing on integrating the six continental Confederations as FIFA members.