FIFA: Coronavirus pandemic to cost football $14bn this year

Coronavirus pandemic to cost football $14bn this year
Football has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic through fixture list chaos, empty stadiums and loss of TV rights revenue. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Football’s global regulatory body FIFA has put the cost of the coronavirus pandemic on the game around the world at $14bn in lost revenue.

That figure accounts for about a third of the game’s global economic value with the national and club game worth about $46bn worldwide.

The coronavirus pandemic has already led to more than 150 football associations urging financial help from the $1.5bn emergency relief fund set up by football’s governing body.

FIFA’s coronavirus steering committee chairman, Olli Rehn, laid bare for the first time the true financial effect the coronavirus has had on the game through fixture list chaos, loss of TV rights revenue and empty stadiums.

Rehn, governor of the Bank of Finland and a politician, said on Wednesday: “It’s a huge number and it covers the football economy in its entirety, including all youth academies.”

He said: “This will impact next year as well, there is a carry over,”

The independent deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee said while Europe was hit hardest in terms of absolute cost, it was the associations outside Europe that “have suffered more”.

He said: “In particular in South America, many on account of their relative means and the spring to autumn season.”

European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli predicted last month that lost revenue of four billion euros ($4.7bn) over two years for its member clubs.

Each national association can request a grant of $1m and $2m for confederations, plus $500,000 for women’s football from FIFA, while loans are available to national associations up to a maximum value of $5m ($4m for confederations).

Meanwhile, according to a Forbes’s report, Barcelona legend Lionel Messi was the highest-earning footballer of the year, with $126m in earnings.

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