By Sportswriter Pan Yi
SAO PAULO, Brazil, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The 64th FIFA Congress concluded here Wednesday with the veto of the crucial term limits and age limits for FIFA officials, which paved the way for 78-year-old Sepp Blatter to pursue his consecutive fifth presidency.
However, Blatter did not formally announce his re-election plan, saying,"The candidature period is not yet open so no one can be a candidate. I know that my mandate will finish next year on June 29 in Zurich, but my mission is not finished."
"And I tell you together we will build the new FIFA together. We have the foundations today. Congress will decide who will take this great institution forward," Blatter told the delegates from six confederations and 209 member associations at the end of the two-day Congress.
"It's a tough decision but I can tell you I am ready to accompany you for the game, for the world -- but it is your decision," Blatter noted. His remarks won applause.
The UEFA and a number of European federations had proposed bringing in the limits, but that was finally beaten in a vote.
Michael J. Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, reported to the Congress about the investigation of the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups.
British media recently reported that some FIFA officials took bribes from Qatar in its bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
"We have interviewed representatives of every bid team involved in that process and all FIFA Executive Committee members who were voting at that time in 2010. We have also spoken or attempted to speak to every other member of the 2010 Executive Committee, regardless of whether those individuals are active football officials. And we have spoken to many other individuals from within and outside football," Garcia said.
"We have also reviewed tens of thousands of relevant documents, some produced by football officials as required in response to our requests, some from bid teams required to cooperate under the terms of the bidding documents they signed, and others from sources who provided material voluntarily," he added.
"Recently, there has been a fair amount of media reporting about the issues. We will review that data for anything relevant prior to issuing any final report," he noted.
With a string of resolutions, the Congress welcomed the implementation of the Handshake for Peace, as part of the pre- and post-match protocol at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, during which team captains and referees will shake hands before and after the match.
Furthermore, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke informed the Congress that a message about the FIFA World Cup in Brazil tackling discrimination and promoting gender equality and peace would be communicated in the stadium ahead of each of the 64 FIFA World Cup matches.
Regarding FIFA's finances, the Congress approved the 2015-2018 budget (with projected revenues of 5 billion U.S. dollars and investments of 4.9 billion dollars). Today, FIFA redistributes more than 500,000 dollars every day into developing football in 209 member associations.
The member associations will this year receive two additional bonuses (250,000 dollars immediately, 500,000 dollars at the beginning of 2015); the same model applies to the confederations (who will receive 2.5 million dollars immediately and 4.5 million dollars at the beginning of 2015).
To fight against match manipulation, FIFA has extended the radar of Early Warning System GmbH, which will now be monitoring top-flight matches outside Europe, in addition to FIFA competitions.