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Infantino Reelected as FIFA President, Pledges Record Revenues

Gianni Infantino was reelected as FIFA president during the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, and he promised that the global soccer governing body would bring in record revenues during his next term, which runs through 2027.

“We promise $11 billion in revenues for the next cycle,” Infantino, who ran unopposed for FIFA president, said. “And the new club World Cup is not included in that figure, so that it could increase by a couple of billion.”

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FIFA’s $11 billion revenue target for the upcoming four years through 2026 is a 45% increase ($3.4 billion) from the previous cycle. This increase is buoyed by hospitality and ticket sales, which are expected to reach $3.1 billion in 2026, a more than 30% increase from $2 billion for the last cycle, thanks to larger stadium capacities at the 2026 FIFA World Cup (in the United States, Mexico and Canada) and the new operating model for hospitality adopted by the organization.

“FIFA will sell the hospitality packages directly to our fans worldwide,” Thomas Peyer, the CFO of FIFA said when presenting the budget.

In addition to increased hospitality and ticket sales, higher broadcast revenues should boost FIFA’s accounts. The organization expects to bring in $4.2 billion, nearly $1 billion higher than the previous cycle, mainly due to the North American time zones offering a favorable coverage across the globe for the 2026 World Cup. Sales from marketing rights are expected to grow to $2.7 billion; 21% of that was already under contract at the end of 2022.

FIFA’s expenses and investments are budgeted at $10 billion, of which $3.8 billion will be dedicated for the 2026 World Cup—over twice the amount dedicated to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The budget reflects the expansion of the tournament from 32 teams to 48 teams across 16 host cities.

This year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will also see an increase in its budget. Infantino said payouts for the tournament would be $150 million total—$110 million in prizes, approximately $30 million for preparation funds and $10 for club benefits, a massive increase from 2019’s $30 million.

The budget presentation showed that FIFA’s investments and new operating model are expected to generate higher costs that will lead to negative balance sheets in the first three years of the cycle. Still, after the 2026 World Cup, the current budget is projected to end in the green.

FIFA’s revenues rose to a record $7.5 billion in 2022. “And that was in a period that was hit by COVID-19,” Infantino said. “When I arrived, FIFA reserves stood at around $1 billion; today, they are almost $4 billion.”

Infantino was first elected as FIFA’s president in 2016, during an Extraordinary Congress, following the resignation of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter amid a corruption scandal that shook the organization. Infantino’s new term will end in 2027.

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