The President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Dr. Joao Havelange, has revealed?
The President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Dr. Joao Havelange, has revealed a five million dollar (GBP 2.8 million sterling) programme for the development of association football throughout the world.
The announcement was made in London on Thursday (13 May) and simultaneously in New York. The programme will be sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company and is the first of its kind between a world-wide company and an international sports governing body.
The first three million dollars (GBP 1.7 million sterling) will go directly to FIFA for the implementation of two programmes.
Dr. Havelane announced the formation of the first world youth tournament - a competition to give Third World countries a greater chance to participate in international football. The tournament will first be held in Tunisia in 1977 and will be run every two years. In effect it will constitute a "mini World Cup" with six European, three South American, two Central American, two Asian, two African and the host nation taking part.
The second is a development programme extending over three years and benefiting close to a hundred countries.
Dr. Havelange said he believed football is more than a sport. "It is a universal language that knows no bounds", he said.
"We should take every opportunity of spreading the word throughout the world and draw upon the experience and knowledge of the stronger football nations to offer assistance and practical guidance to the less strong," he added.
The Coca-Cola Company will also join forces with the United States Soccer Federation to support a 1.2 million dollar (GBP 700,000 sterling) youth development programme - the first major commercial sponsorship of soccer in the United States.