The UEFA Congress held in İstanbul 3/22/2012
The UEFA Congress held in İstanbul
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The 36th Ordinary UEFA Congress was held in İstanbul Congress Center, İstanbul, Turkey with the participation of UEFA Executive Committee, senior representatives from UEFA's
53 member national associations, other confederations and FIFA representatives. İstanbul which is the Europe's Sports Capital of 2012, was hosted the UEFA Congress after 34 years.

The 36th Ordinary UEFA Congress' opening speeches were done by TFF President Yıldırım Demirören, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Republic of Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and UEFA President Michel Platini respectively.

During his speech TFF President Yıldırım Demirören said that; ''On behalf of Turkish Football Federation, I would like to express my gratitude, to Mr.Michel Platini and the UEFA Executive Committee for granting us the honor of hosting this event. Turkey, which has the sixth largest football economy in Europe, will leading every step that will be taken in order to solve main problems of the European football, the leading power of the world football, to enhance principles of football like friendship, peace and brotherhood among the countries.I fully agree with the views of Mr.Platini about the problems of football which he summarized in twelfth European Council of Ministries of Sports. As being Football Federation President of a country that legislated the most comprehensive Law against Sports Violence and Disorder that includes match fixing and incentive issues, I believe it is very important that European Countries define a common act against this issues. We all know about the financial difficulties of the clubs caused by the expenses spent in order to reach sportive success and become competitive. Financial Fair Play which is one of the most important projects of UEFA is also among our priorities. The efficient use of resources and to reach a healthy financial and corporate structure is one of our most important aims. Furthermore, I believe the economic support to the clubs is important as financial discipline and there is a need to take necessary steps. These lands which hosted two continents over the history, has proven itself by hosting big football events in the last years. Along with this event, where is in the same city that we hosted the last UEFA Cup Final of the history, we are having a good preparation period for the UEFA Under Nineteen Women European Championship that will be hosted in Antalya this summer. We are also working on FIFA Two Thousand and Thirteen Under Twenty World Cup preparations. Football is the most popular sport in Turkey by far and away and our most important goal is to increase the passion of football. We want to implicate our young talents regularly into our new Football Development Program Two Thousand and Twenty Eight. Besides; with the big help of our government, we started the construction ofeighteen stadiums around the whole country.''

After Demirören's speech; FIFA President Sepp Blatter, mentioned his pleasure about hosting of U20 World Cup in Turkey which will be held in 2013.

Then; Republic of Turkey  Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke of the need for football to be a symbol of peace and friendship. He urged continued work and investment to encourage as many young people as possible to become involved in sport, and called on sport to fight negative phenomena such as match-fixing and racism.

"For 15 years I gave a lot to football," said Mr Erdoğan, "and I learned discipline and other virtues for the rest of my life. Indeed, football should be kept an instrument of peace, solidarity and fair play.
"I'd like to thank UEFA for coming back to Turkey and Istanbul. Turkey is a country which is in love with football and whose people contribute to football. We are building new facilities and are making our presence more noticeable."

Istanbul has hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League final and 2009 UEFA Cup final in recent years, and Antalya will stage the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship this summer. In addition, Turkey will hold the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

"We have a young population and a large sporting population," said the Prime Minister. "We want to contribute friendship and peace through sport - football is the language of peace

Last opening speech of the congress was made from UEFA President  Michel Platini and he stated in his speech that: Football;  "is too beautiful for us to leave it exposed to the numerous dangers that threaten it. Football is a wonderful thing, a treasure we must preserve. Then; Mr. Platini spoke of various achievements and developments which gave him confidence for the future, while also emphasising a general determination to combat negative elements which still existed.

"First, I feel that together we have already achieved some great things," he said. "Reforming the club competitions, reforming the national team competitions, reforming our statutes, and launching major projects such as financial fair play and the European qualifiers, to name but a few. Also, and in particular, I feel that together we are continuing to move forward. Not only that: we are heading in the right direction.

"UEFA is an innovative and unique institution: a kind of research and development laboratory which works at all times for the advancement of football but with respect for tradition; a cutting-edge organisation, but one which forgets neither its past nor its roots."
The UEFA President referred to the new centralised marketing system for the European national-team qualifiers - "a project that will give our national teams' matches more exposure and will enable the associations to increase their financial stability in the medium and long term."
Unity of the entire European football family had also been achieved. "In 2007, (...) I promised to bring together around a single table all the families of football to bury the hatchet and put an end to the tensions that, for years, had riddled relations between UEFA and the different football bodies," Mr Platini said. "And so, a few months after my election, we signed memorandums of understanding with the representatives of the clubs, the leagues and the players.
"Bringing everyone together was one thing - an invitation was enough. Creating unity was quite another. This required persuasion. But we got there. In fact - and this is a first - you are going to witness the renewal of these memorandums today. They are a sign of restored, consolidated unity; a sign that European football is one indivisible whole.

"Ultimately, [the memorandums] guarantee that, for many years to come, football will remain the game we know and love: one in which clubs and national teams coexist in harmony."
The UEFA President refused to shy away from problems that still exist. "In some countries we know certain clubs better by their lawyers than their players, as some administrators try to make a name for themselves and bring in money by constantly taking the associations to court. This is unacceptable.
"In some countries players sign or terminate contracts under pressure or threats. This cannot be tolerated. We must do more to protect the players, without whom there would be no football.

"In some countries clubs spend money they do not have, while others no longer pay their players. How is it possible for there to be more money in football than ever before and yet so many clubs that have never been in so much debt? Professional football in Europe has run up losses of €1.6bn according to our latest study. How is this paradox possible? It is unsustainable."

Mr Platini said he had received a letter from the vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner responsible for competition Joaquin Almunia. He described the letter as "a marvellous victory for UEFA and for football". "The European Commission recognises the legitimacy of financial fair play and, in fact, challenges us to go further still.

"Every day that passes," he continued, "we see that with our reforms aimed at protecting the heritage of football, and with our projects designed to increase fairness and solidarity in our sport, we are moving with the tide of history."

The UEFA President said he was looking forward to this summer's UEFA EURO 2012 tournament. "Because after so much effort and so many sacrifices, I am confident that this tournament will live up to our expectations and provide us with its fair share of emotions."
He said it was essential to have no hidden agendas - "it is because we love football, because we are at its service, that we must work hand in hand.

"Violence, match-fixing, illegal betting, doping, pressures and threats against players, flouting contracts, trafficking of young players, money laundering: these scourges exist. They exist in society and they exist in football. It is up to us to fight them, with the help of the public authorities, to which I renew my call today.

"So let us protect the players, let us protect the game, let us clean up football," Mr Platini concluded. "This is our aim. This should be our obsession. Many of our projects are done in this spirit, in a deliberate attempt to put morality back at the centre of the game - let us continue creating history together. Football deserves it."

The financial budget of 2012/2013 approved

After the speeches; the activities and financial report of UEFA Executive Committee in 2011/2012 and the financial budget of UEFA in 2012/2013 season which is 1.5 billion Euro, was approved by consensus.
Besides; A renewed Memorandum of Understanding for the 2012-18 period was signed today between UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA) on the occasion The memorandum was signed by the UEFA President Michel Platini and the chairman of the ECA executive board Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. It paves the way for a fruitful relationship between Europe's football governing body and the association of European football clubs. The new agreement will run from 22 March 2012 until 30 May 2018 and includes the points as insurance, Sharing of clubs in the benefits of the EURO, Good governance/club representation in decision-making process and international calendar

After 36TH Ordinary UEFA Congress, the press conference was organized with the participation of UEFA President Michel Platini and UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino.






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