"I am very happy to have the top representatives of futsal and beach soccer in the world here on this committee," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, who opened the meeting. "This year, we will have 20 teams in the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the first time, a clear sign of the increasing popularity of this sport, and we will also have prize money in this competition for the first time," he added.


"Futsal and beach soccer are growing very fast, as can be seen from the expansion of the FIFA Futsal World Cup to 20 teams and 20 days, and are in the process of attaining great importance within the football family," agreed Mr Teixeira.


During the meeting, the dates for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Brazil 2008 were approved by the committee, with the competition set to run from 30 September to 19 October 2008 in the host cities of Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, subject to approval from the FIFA Executive Committee. For the first time, there will be 20 teams participating in the event, with the following distribution of teams by confederation: AFC (4), CAF (2), CONCACAF (3), CONMEBOL (3+host), OFC (1) and UEFA (6). The final draw will be held in Brasilia on 6 July.


The committee was also informed of the bidding procedure for the next competition in 2012. In total, six bids have been received, from the following member associations: Czech Republic, Egypt, Iran, New Caledonia, Portugal and Thailand.


The dates for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2008, which will be held in Marseilles from 17 to 27 July, were also confirmed by the committee, having already been approved by the FIFA Executive Committee. The final draw will be held in Benidorm on 18 May, following the conclusion of the European qualifier event in the Spanish resort.


The Brazilian and the French Local Organising Committees both presented the planning for their respective events, and were congratulated by the Chairman for the advanced stage of the preparations.


Interest in both events has been very strong, with several local companies expressing their wish to support both events and with the TV rights for each of the competitions sold in nearly 200 territories already.


Finally, reports were presented on the futsal and beach soccer development programmes