The general secretary of the German Football Association and one of the driving forces behind the success of the 2006 FIFA World Cup as first vice-president of the German local organising committee, Horst Schmidt, is to lend FIFA his support with the staging of the 2010 event in South Africa in a consultancy role following an agreement reached with football's governing body.
Schmidt is set to spend seven days per month as the coordinator of FIFA's 2010 World Cup project, using his extensive experience to serve as FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi's “extended arm” in South Africa and Zurich when it comes to the day-to-day management of preparations for the event.
After gaining his first taste of organising a World Cup in 1974 in his homeland, Schmidt spent many years as a FIFA expert in the areas of security and ticketing before most recently masterminding 2006 World Cup operations in Germany as the local organisers' first vice-president.
“The recruitment of Horst R. Schmidt as a consultant will have many benefits for us,” commented FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi, who bears ultimate responsibility for the organisation of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. “There can be very few people around the world with such vast experience in terms of event organisation, security matters and ticketing. FIFA is therefore very grateful to the DFB for making him available for this new assignment.”
As was the case ahead of previous World Cups and in order to bridge the physical distance between the 2010 host nation and FIFA headquarters in Zurich, the governing body has had permanent representation in South Africa since the start of 2006 and is shortly due to move into new offices that it will share with the local organising committee (SAOC).
In view of the ever-increasing demands of World Cup organisation, FIFA is making an increasingly intensive contribution to the process by guaranteeing the direct transfer of know-how from one host nation to the next. With this in mind, FIFA has set up a dedicated company, MATCH AG, to gather know-how in the key areas of management, accommodation, ticketing, IT and hospitality.