Friday, October 24, 2008

Recession? What Recession? World Football's Just Fine


We talked a few days ago about how South Africa's preparations for the 2010 World Cup were unaffected by the current world economic meltdown.

Today, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said FIFA’s finances are in a ‘privileged to comfortable’ situation and world soccer’s governing body had not yet suffered any impact from the global finance crisis.

Good to know the recession can't touch football, eh?

“We received a detailed analysis of the potential impact and can say that we are now in a situation that could be described as between privileged and comfortable,” Blatter told a news conference following a two-day executive committee meeting.

“For the time being we have not lost money and are well equipped to face up to the current crisis thanks to our financial policy which involves a diversification of assets and very low exposure to currency or foreign exchange volatilities.

“We also have 95 percent of our budget already under contract and have managed our costs. The diversification of our portfolios and our television contract partners gives us cautious optimism for the future.”

Blatter announced that FIFA had bought insurance cover providing protection for up to $650 million in the event that either of its next two World Cups in 2010 and 2014 had to be canceled, postponed or relocated.

“We also had insurance for the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups so this is not any kind of judgment on the organization of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa,” FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told the news conference.

“We are on time to deliver both the (2009) Confederations Cup and the World Cup in South Africa and this insurance is only to deal with the threat of attacks or natural catastrophes.”

MY POV: Two things ...

1.) Great to hear that football's financially secure. But do you think people that are struggling to make ends meet really care at this moment?

2.) Once people's priorities come together, do you think going to expensive football matches, etc. will be at the top of their list?

I'm happy FIFA's diversified and kept their house in order. But should this economic situation continue into 2010, I think we could hear a different tune coming from Mr. Blatter's mouth.

Football will suffer. Of that there's no doubt.


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