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FIFA announces recession-busting revenues

Football's world governing body FIFA announced on Thursday a recession-busting boost to its finances on the eve of the World Cup despite the economic turmoil buffeting the world.

sports Updated: Jun 10, 2010 22:48 IST

Football's world governing body FIFA announced on Thursday a recession-busting boost to its finances on the eve of the World Cup despite the economic turmoil buffeting the world.

The 60th FIFA Congress, meeting in Johannesburg, heard revenues topped a billion dollars in 2009 for the first time thanks to marketing and TV contracts -- up sharply from 575 million in 2003. Expenses were 863 million dollars.

And FIFA's equity stood at more than a billion dollars at the end of 2009 -- a vast increase compared with just 76 million dollars in 2003.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who confirmed he would be standing for election for another term in 2011, said the World Cup in South Africa would generate more income than the tournament four years ago in Germany.

"It's not a question of whether the country is richer or not, rather it is a question of the product and the product is the FIFA World Cup and the product can only be good if the football is good," he told a press conference after the close of the Congress.

Member associations were told that due to the financial success, each would receive a bonus of 250,000 dollars in 2010 and the six confederations would each receive an extra 2.5 million dollars.

An upbeat Blatter, president since 1998, confirmed he would seek re-election at the next Congress in Zurich in 2011 but would not be drawn on whether that would be the last time he would stand.

"I am going to be frank and direct. I haven't finished my job," said Blatter. "I am ready for another mandate at the 61st Congress in Zurich in 2011."

Blatter, 74, later told the press conference: "I'm a happy man because of a happy Congress but now I'm waiting for the kick-off. I'm really excited," adding that the tournament would be a "win-win" for Africa.

The Congress also heard presentations on measures to protect minors, including the registration of all players whether they are playing for clubs or academies.

And delegates were given an update on the transfer matching system for all international transfers, which will be mandatory from October 1.

Under this system all data relevant to a transfer must be entered into a web-based tool, ensuring full transparency in the process.

Blatter said such measures were important in tackling the exodus of young players from their home countries.

"Naturally we cannot stop everything but once registered, we can intervene," Blatter added.

The Congress also confirmed the suspension of the football association of Brunei Darussalam.