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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 19, 2010

Soccer: FIFA reports $196M profit, $1B reserve fund

AP Sports Writer

ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it made a profit of $196 million in 2009 and increased its reserves to more than $1 billion as soccer's commercial appeal defied the global economic crisis.

In its annual financial report published today, soccer's world governing body said it made its surplus on revenue of $1.059 billion. It's an increase of $12 million in profit from 2008.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said he was a "happy president" that revenue had topped a billion for the first time.

"We are comfortable. I wouldn't say we are rich," Blatter said after a two-day meeting of FIFA's ruling executive. "A good result has been achieved."

Blatter said the financial report showed that awarding the 2010 World Cup to South Africa was a "good financial and commercial decision."

In the report, Julio Grondona, the chairman of FIFA's finance committee, said the first World Cup in Africa had posted marketing revenues that surpassed the results of the previous two tournaments, in Germany (2006) and South Korea and Japan (2002).

FIFA has focused on building its reserves in recent years to sustain it in the event that a World Cup is canceled and commercial partners have to be repaid. It originally had a target of $800 million to be set aside by the end of 2010, but has exceeded that with its equity totaling $1.061 billion.

"FIFA has thus far made it through the turbulence in the financial markets and the global recession unscathed and has emerged from the crisis in a stronger position," its report said.

In 2008 it made $184 million profit on revenue of $957 million and its equity stood at $902 million.

FIFA will distribute some of its extra cash earned mostly from better-than-expected television and marketing deals to its continental and national members.