Blatter says Fifa secure in world financial crisis

Fida president Sepp Blatter said on Friday his organization’s finances are not at risk in the world financial crisis.

Blatter described the world governing body’s financial position as “somewhere between privileged and comfortable”.

“For the time being, we have not lost money,” Blatter said. “We are well organised and well equipped to face up to the present crisis.”

Fida relies on the four-yearly World Cup for 90% of its revenue, and expects to earn $3,2-billion in television and marketing revenue from the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Blatter said 95% of Fifa’s budget for the current World Cup cycle is under contract with broadcasters and sponsors.

However, it has taken out insurance policies on the 2010 event and the 2014 edition in Brazil that will pay $650-million if a tournament has to be moved.

“If ever there were any catastrophe that would not allow us to hold a World Cup, we would prefer to buy insurance cover,” Blatter said.

He said Fifa was cautiously optimistic about football’s future popularity.

“Football is still a very attractive product,” he said.

“We have between 10 and 12 national associations which are wanting to host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.” - Sapa-AP

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