GENEVA — FIFA forecast the pandemic will cause a $120 million drop in its revenue plan through the 2022 World Cup in a revised four-year budget published Wednesday.
Cost-cutting is also predicted to help offset a $200 million hit from being unable to stage a revamped Club World Cup in June 2021, when Europe and South America stage their postponed continental championships.
Still, FIFA said most World Cup broadcast and sponsor deals were already signed and should keep the same profit in the 2019-22 financial cycle, even on reduced income of $6.44 billion.
“The projected result before taxes and financial result of $100 million can therefore be confirmed, despite the impact of this pandemic on the match calendar and the global economy,” soccer’s world body said in notes accompanying its 2019 financial report.
FIFA has committed $328 million in extra grants from an emergency fund to ease soccer bodies through the pandemic crisis. More has been available for loans.
The knock-on effect is that FIFA forecasts reserves of no less than $1.6 billion after the World Cup in Qatar finishes in December 2022. It was $1.9 billion when the four-year budget was agreed in 2018.
FIFA aims to keep a minimum level of $1.5 billion in reserve to protect against a World Cup being cancelled.
It depends heavily on income tied to the men’s World Cup and expects to book $4.7 billion revenue for the 2022 financial year.
That means FIFA reports a loss on paper in each of the three previous years that was $280 million, according to the 2019 report.
FIFA spent $513 million on “development and education” projects in 2019, including more than $400 million in grants to soccer bodies worldwide
The loss is forecast to be $800 million in pandemic-hit 2020, when revenue of just $250 million should be booked.
FIFA said 94% of its broadcasting income was already signed for the 2019-22 cycle, though it currently has relatively few World Cup sponsors: six top-tier partners and three in a lower level.
“With the majority of the commercial rights having already been sold, the impact of the coronavirus crisis on FIFA’s revenue is expected to remain comparatively low,” the Zurich-based body said.
FIFA previously detailed an expected drop in revenue from ticket and hospitality sales at the 2022 World Cup because of smaller stadiums in Qatar, which hosts the last 32-team tournament.
However, FIFA is set for booming income at the 48-team World Cup in 2026 which will set records for average attendance at stadiums in the United States, Canada and Mexico, in addition to having 80 games instead of 64.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino's payment package in 2019 topped 3 million Swiss francs ($3.3 million) in base salary, bonus and allowances, the annual report said.
Payments to secretary general Fatma Samoura totalled just under 1.6 million Swiss francs ($1.75 million), and more than 14.5 million Swiss francs ($16 million) to members of the decision-making FIFA Council.
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Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press