Russia's World Cup has paid off, largely thanks to Chinese sponsorship
Chinese national football team, according to the Moscow just participated in a World Cup, when they in the 32 teams in the league the penultimate but China is FIFA play an important role in the process of financial recovery in recent years, western countries have been lose faith in the institution.
According to FIFA financial documents reviewed by The New York Times, the 2018 World Cup that kicks off Thursday in Moscow is set to generate $6.1 billion in revenue — 10 percent more than FIFA had estimated for the tournament and $1.3 billion more than the last World Cup produced in 2014 in Brazil.
Revenue from television rights sales was 2 percent more than FIFA’s $3 billion target, and FIFA’s sponsorship deals generated $200 million more than the $1.45 billion it had projected, largely because of a slew of deals with Chinese companies. Seven of the 20 companies sponsoring the tournament are Chinese, up from just one at the last World Cup.
FIFA also saw a 233 percent increase in annual royalties last year from EA Sports, the maker of the popular FIFA video game franchise. The company paid FIFA $160 million in 2017.
China’s renewed interest in soccer was spurred by President Xi Jinping’s demand in 2015 that the country build a sports economy, with a particular focus on soccer. At the same time, Western companies were becoming increasingly hesitant of doing business with FIFA in the wake of a corruption investigation by the United States Justice Department. FIFA has not signed a new sponsor from a Western nation since 2011.
FIFA plans to release the financial figures to its 211 members on Wednesday. The organization is reporting profits of just over $100 million for the four-year cycle ending after the tournament, with losses of $997 million during the preceding three years and an estimated profits of $1.1 billion this year.
FIFA’s losses in previous years are attributable to a new, more modernized accounting system, legal costs associated with the criminal corruption case in the United States and an expensive internal investigation that followed the indictments. FIFA has also significantly increased grants for member nations under President Gianni Infantino. In his two years in the position, Infantino has distributed $775 million; the administration of his predecessor, Sepp Blatter, spent $1.1 billion in the four years leading into the 2014 World Cup.
FIFA前三年出现亏损是因为一个新的、更加现代化的会计系统、与美国腐败案相关的法律费用，以及遭到起诉后的一项昂贵的内部调查。詹尼·因凡蒂诺(Gianni Infantino)担任主席期间，FIFA还大幅提高了发放给成员国的资金。在他任职两年期间，因凡蒂诺给出7.75亿美元；其前任塞普·布拉特(Sepp Blatter)在2014年世界杯举行前四年支出了11亿美元。
FIFA expects to have $1.7 billion in cash and assets by the end of 2018.
Speaking to the news media at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich before flying to Russia for his first World Cup as FIFA president, Infantino said the organization’s finances had recovered enough to “show that FIFA is healthy.”
“While people were predicting bankruptcies of FIFA or other very dark visions, I think the vision is very bright based on figures coming from different parts of the world, including Asia,” he said.
Still, the mood hasn’t recovered sufficiently to convince wealthy companies to take up the 2018 World Cup’s corporate hospitality. The sponsorship program has collapsed since the 2014 World Cup and is producing revenue closer to the amount FIFA earned in South Africa in 2010. The $360 million FIFA will make at the event through corporate hospitality is a more than decrease of more than 40 percent compared with what it took in Brazil. There, 62 percent of buyers were from the domestic market, that figure is just 35 percent in Russia.
And Infantino promised before his election to the presidency to quadruple the amount that FIFA gives away to its members, meaning the overall increased revenue may not be enough for Infantino. That may explain why he is exploring a controversial $25 billion deal with a group of investors, including Japan’s SoftBank, for two new tournaments. Infantino said last week that almost half of FIFA’s entire membership relies on the organization’s cash disbursements for the entirety of their budgets.
FIFA has also demanded more documentation from the national soccer federations that receive the disbursements. That has led to delays in paying some associations, and a change in approach from FIFA. Now many associations are allowed money on the condition they provide detailed reports, documentation and bank statements that correspond with the payments made.
“Can we exclude that something strange is going to happen with some of the money that is paid out?” Infantino said. “No, we cannot exclude it. But we do everything that we can to make sure that somebody thinks he can take money away.”