Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - South Sudan is the latest country to join the world football governing body, FIFA.
This brings to 208 the number of FIFA members, according to a news dispatch late Friday from the world body.
Also, Lydia Nsekera, 45, the Burundi FA President, formally took her position at the FIFA 2012 Congress in Budapest, Hungary, Friday, becoming the first woman member of the Executive Committee.
Among the decisions taken at the Congress 2012 was that the referee and team captains will now shake hands twice during a match.
This means the team skippers and referee will shake hands at the start and end of a football match in the centre of the pitch.
FIFA called the gesture -- closing the game with a "Handshake for Peace" as it made the commitment to a partnership with the Nobel Peace Centre.
“This partnership will join two of the world strongest brands,” said FIFA President, Joseph Blatter.
“This handshake for peace in football is a great initiative, but it should actually be an example not only in football but throughout our entire society.”
The new procedure will be implemented in all upcoming FIFA competitions, including the FIFA Club World Cup in December, next year’s FIFA Confederation Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
It was not immediately clear whether it will be mandatory in football games around the world, including internationals and league matches.
Kalusha Bwalya, the former Zambia star and current president of the Zambian Football Federation, took to the stage of the FIFA Congress hall in Budapest to support the move.
He said: “Football should be used in this way because its huge popularity can help develop an even better spirit in the game. I really hope and believe this new initiative will help in that sense.”
Bente Erichsen, the executive director of the Nobel Peace Centre, also spoke about the partnership and, after reminding the audience that FIFA and the Nobel Peace Centre have much in common, said the agreement “can be a start for a close and solid relationship with huge potential”.
She added: “I hope we can implement and develop programmes of education. I’m sure this partnership can contribute to the good of the game and develop respect. Because symbols can change attitudes, we think shaking hands at the end of the game can be a great example for youngsters.”
She then warmly shook hands with Bwalya.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 26May2012