by David Owen
March 26, 2014 (ISN) – Unexpected costs last year forced FIFA to earmark an extra $70 million (£42 million/€50 million) for the problem-plagued 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The move is disclosed in the newly-published 142-page 2013 financial report of world football’s governing body.
In spite of this, FIFA recorded a positive result for the year of $72 million (£44 million/€52 million) on revenue of $1.39 billion (£840 million/€1.01 billion).
This enabled the organisation responsible for one of the world’s two greatest sporting events to lift reserves to an impressive $1.43 billion (£870 million/€1.03 billion) on December 31.
Notes to the financial statements revealed that “unforeseen additional costs incurred and further activities identified” had resulted in a reals 164 million (£42.8 million/$70.6 million/€51 million) increase in the budget for the Local Organising Committee from reals 892 million (£232.6 million/$383.9 million/€277.9 million) to reals 1.056 billion (£280 million/$450 million/€330 million).
This was, the report said, “fully financed by FIFA”.
Accumulated expenses recognised in connection with the 2014 World Cup over the three years to end-2013 were said to amount to $1.436 billion (£870 million/€ 1.04 billion).
The run-up to what should be a landmark tournament in a country whose passion for football is second to none has been beset with difficulties ranging from stadium issues to demonstrations by those who think the Brazilian Government’s money could be better spent elsewhere.
The report also revealed that the sums paid to FIFA’s top brass, its so-called “key management personnel”, rose 8.4 per cent to $36.3 million (£22 million/€26.27 million) in 2013.
As well as these short-term employee benefits, FIFA contributed to defined pension plans amounting to a further $2.3 million (£1.39 million/€1.66 million) (2012: $2.2 million (£1.33 million/€1.59 million)).
The figures do not necessarily mean that FIFA bigwigs received an 8.4 per cent pay rise last year: for one thing, their numbers may have increased; for another, the payments are actually made in Swiss francs.
In 2013, one Swiss franc was worth $1.07 (£0.65/€0.77) on average, compared with $1.057 (£0.64/€0.76) in 2012.
Overall personnel expenses, including social and other benefit costs, broke the $100 million (£60.59 million/€72.37 million) barrier last year, climbing to $102 million (£61.81 million/€73.75 million) against a restated $91.2 million (£55.3 million/€65.94 million), as the average number of employees rose from 412 to 452.