FIFA set for ‘record-breaking year’ in football revenues

FIFA set for ‘record-breaking year’ in football revenues

The news that FIFA is on track to reap record revenues of $7 billion on the back of the 2022 World Cup highlights the global appeal of football.

President Gianni Infantino told the annual congress of the sport’s world governing body that FIFA’s finances were well placed to beat the $6.4bn target they had set.

Revenues from sponsorship, television and marketing activities have kept the cash tills ringing and Qatar 2022 should ensure this continues apace.

As research by Football Today shows, this year’s World Cup will be hugely competitive, with plenty of teams in with a chance of lifting the prestigious trophy.

This factor alone will make the tournament extremely watchable, and help to deliver on FIFA’s promise setting a new record for television broadcasting rights.

However, while FIFA are undoubtedly laughing all the way to the bank, they remain a hugely divisive organisation.

Their decision to move the World Cup from its traditional slot in the middle of the year has not been welcomed by most of the football world.

Playing the tournament during November and December will have a huge impact on dozens of domestic competitions around the world.

Hosting the World Cup in Qatar has also come in for plenty of criticism, with many top names in football questioning the ethics behind the decision.

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has been particularly outspoken, telling Eurosport that suggestions the FIFA’s aim is to develop football in Qatar is nonsense.

“Everyone knows that I think it’s ridiculous that the World Cup is there,” he said. “That we are going to play in a country to allow football to develop there? That’s bulls***.

“It is about money and commercial interests. That matters in FIFA. Why do you think I’m not on a committee with my expertise? I’ve always opposed those kinds of organisations.

“It is not right. I can say that in Qatar, but that (my opposition) doesn’t help the world get rid of this problem.”

Qatar’s attitude towards human rights has also been cited as a major reason why the 2022 World Cup should not be staged there.

It was recently estimated that more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup.

However, the total death toll is believed to be significantly higher as the reported figures do not include deaths from other countries such as the Philippines and Kenya.

Simon Chadwick, a respected sports economy professor, has spent the past few years closely monitoring the way FIFA operates.

With the corruption uncovered during Sepp Blatter’s presidency still fresh in the memory, Chadwick says FIFA still has plenty of work to do to convince people they have cleaned up their act.

“It’s a high expectation for any global organisation to completely eradicate issues of corruption or scandal,” said Chadwick. “One can only hope that FIFA will continue moving in the right direction.”

“FIFA has worked hard to broaden its constituency; for instance, by bringing onboard sponsors from countries where standards of governance and levels of scrutiny are somewhat different to, say, Europe.”

While question marks over FIFA’s transparency remains, their finances are likely to continue on an upward curve during the next four-year cycle.

The 2026 World Cup in Canada, United States and Mexico will feature 48 teams for the first time, thus increasing global exposure of the tournament.

While a 50 percent hike in the number teams will probably not result in revenues rising by the same percentage, the increase should keep FIFA’s accountants busy for the foreseeable future.

CATEGORIES : International Sports


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