FIFA reports million loss as Infantino sets out to restore trust
Photo: Ed Coyle/Flickr
18.03.2016By Play the Game
On Thursday, FIFA published its Financial and Governance Report revealing a loss of $122 million dollars, the first loss football’s world governing body has experienced since 2002. The report explains the loss partly by an increased budget for development expenses but also reveals that the scandal that hit FIFA last year has led to considerable extra costs for the organisation.
“A number of events caused these increases such as an increased budget for development expenses and higher competition costs, but also unforeseen costs such as legal fees and costs,” says the report.
In fact, FIFA has almost doubled its expenditures on legal fees from $31.3 million in 2014 to $61.5 million in 2015, largely due to the U.S. investigation into corrupt practices of FIFA officials.
As part of the reform package approved by the Extraordinary FIFA Congress last month, FIFA’s financial report this time discloses remuneration information about the president, secretary general and executive committee members. According to the report, Sepp Blatter earned $3.75 million in 2015 plus a $450.000 “variable compensation” payment for having been 40 years with FIFA. Former FIFA secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, made $2.18 million in 2015, according to the report
Sepp Blatter is currently suspended and banned from all football related activities for six years as is former UEFA president Michel Platini over a $2 million payment from Blatter to Platini made with no written agreement. Both have launched appeals with CAS.
Valcke has been laid off from his position at FIFA and received a ban from football related activities for an alleged World Cup ticket scam and on Thursday, the Swiss authorities announced the launch of criminal proceedings against him.
The negative impact that the scandal has had on FIFA did not discourage the new FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who, in the press release announcing the financial report, stated that FIFA, with the new reforms, has “turned a corner” and “is poised to emerge stronger than ever”.
On Friday, Infantino presented his roadmap to restoring public trust in FIFA to the Executive Committee. The roadmap includes modernising football development, focusing more on women’s football, cooperating more with commercial partners and optimising the FIFA administration.
Infantino, who said he was “tremendously energised” by what he had experienced in his first 21 days as president, was happy that the ExCo has approved the roadmap.
“The Executive Committee decisions this week ensure that we now move from words to actions. I am sure that with the measures in place, and those to be rolled out in the near-term, we can not only restore FIFA’s image but also ensure that the world will be proud of FIFA,” he said in a press release following the ExCo meeting.