FIFA earns record $7.5bn revenue for Qatar World Cup

The earnings from this World Cup cycle are $1bn more than those generated from the 2018 tournament in Russia.

72nd Fifa Congress 2022, Doha Qatar, 31 March 2022 [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
FIFA chief Gianni Infantino at a press conference in Doha on Saturday, November 19, 2020. On Sunday, FIFA revealed that it had earned a record $7.5bn in earnings during the current World Cup cycle [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

FIFA has earned an unprecedented $7.5bn in revenue through four years of commercial deals tied to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the governing body of football says.

The earnings, which FIFA revealed on Sunday to officials from more than 200 of its member nations, are $1bn more than what the organisation pulled in from the previous World Cup cycle leading up to the 2018 event in Russia.

The extra income was buoyed by commercial deals with this year’s hosts. Qatar Energy joined as a top-tier sponsor, and new third-tier sponsors include Qatari bank QNB and telecommunications firm Ooredoo. FIFA also added second-tier sponsor deals this year from financial platform and blockchain provider Algorand, its first new American sponsor in more than a decade.

Key broadcast deals for this year’s World Cup were signed during Sepp Blatter’s presidency in two-tournament deals for the Russia and Qatar events. They included deals with Fox in the United States and Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports from 2011.

FIFA pays for host countries’ organising committees, prize money, travel and accommodation for teams and support staff. It also pays for a legacy fund to help develop the sport in the host country after the World Cup circus has left town.

The winners of the Qatar World Cup will receive $44m out of a total prize pot of $440m.

FIFA organises its accounts in four-year cycles around each World Cup. For the 2015-2018 cycle leading up to the Russian World Cup, the governing body brought in $6.4bn. It has used that cash to help member bodies through uncertainty in 2020 when national team football and World Cup qualifying games were almost entirely shut down.

The organisation’s revenues are likely to approach $10bn for the next four years, thanks to a new financial strategy for women’s football and the expanded 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada and Mexico, which will see 48 teams compete for the first time, up from the present 32.

FIFA has an almost blank slate for the 2026 edition with top-tier sponsors Coca-Cola, Adidas and Wanda the only deals currently extended. Separate sponsor deals for women’s football are being signed for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Source: AP