2021 financials in review
On track to exceed the full-cycle revenue budget
Revenues developed successfully in the third year of the 2019-2022 cycle. Despite the impact of the pandemic on the global economy, FIFA is well on track to exceed its projected revenue target of USD 6,440 million for the cycle, having contracted 95% of its total budgeted revenue as at 31 December 2021.
Contracted revenue grew from 80% to 95% by the end of 2021, indicating that revenue targets will be surpassed by the end of the cycle. As at 31 December 2021, contracted revenue totalled USD 6,114 million, primarily from TV broadcasting rights and marketing rights related to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Revenue for the year 2021 came to USD 766 million, 3% above the budget target. In addition, the FIFA Arab Cup proved to be a resounding success and provided a taste of things to come as the clock ticks down towards the main event, for which preparations are in full swing.
Television broadcasting rights
In 2021, television broadcasting rights were successfully sold to Greece, Italy, India, Sub-Saharan Africa and other territories. Revenue posted from the sale of television broadcasting rights amounted to USD 123 million. Encouragingly, FIFA had already contracted its full four-year cycle budget at year end and expects television broadcasting rights to have set a new record by the end of the cycle.
FIFA welcomed new members to its family of partners and sponsors for Qatar 2022, which increased to 17 in number. Following their involvement in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, leading companies Hisense (electronics) and the Mengniu Group (dairy products) are back on board as FIFA World Cup Sponsors for the 2022 edition. FIFA is well on the way to securing other major FIFA World Cup 2022 global partnerships with international companies. In addition, Regional Supporter agreements were signed in 2021 with the QNB Group, Ooredoo QSC, UPL Ltd, Nubank and Claro. In 2021, revenue from the sale of marketing rights amounted to USD 131 million.
Hospitality rights and ticket sales
Revenue from hospitality rights and ticket sales totalled USD 12 million, primarily due to sales of tickets for the FIFA Arab Cup. A total of 631,742 people attended 32 matches in six stadiums.
Licensing rights performed well, with revenues of USD 180 million. FIFA is excited about the upcoming period with an expanded retail and merchandise programme for the FIFA World Cup, new e-commerce initiatives and fresh opportunities in gaming and esports.
Other revenue and income
Other revenue and income of USD 320 million benefited from an award by the United States Department of Justice to the FIFA Foundation as compensation for the losses suffered by FIFA, Concacaf and CONMEBOL as victims of decades of football corruption schemes. The total award amounted to more than USD 201 million, of which USD 60 million related to the damages suffered by FIFA and which was recognised as other income. USD 260 million related to contributions received for the operational event costs of hosting and staging the FIFA Arab Cup, the staging of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 and the Olympic Football Tournaments Tokyo 2020, break fees relating to contract cancellations, gains from property sales, the FIFA Quality Programme, the FIFA Museum, income from sales of films and video rights and revenue from prior cycles.
2021 revenue by category (in TUSD)
Actual revenue 2019-2021 and cycle outlook (USD million)
Continued investment to combat impact of COVID-19
Guided by its vision for 2020-2023, FIFA has been working with its member associations to make football truly global, diverse and inclusive. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact on football tournaments and events, FIFA maintained its investment in football and intensified its commitment to protecting and growing the game throughout the world by dedicating more human and financial resources. In 2021, football’s return to action gathered pace thanks to the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan and the FIFA Forward 2.0 programme.
In response to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in early 2020, severe restrictions were imposed on every aspect of life throughout the world. Football was not unaffected by the pandemic, and the game came to a virtual standstill around the globe. The return of FIFA tournaments in 2021 was the result of an extensive consultation process with the six confederations and stakeholder representatives to ensure the that international football could resume safely. Overall, FIFA can look back on a successful year in which it hosted outstanding competitions and continued to invest heavily in football through the FIFA Forward Programme and the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan.
FIFA’s total investments in 2021 were fully dedicated to its overarching goals, such as making football truly global, and to easing the impact of the pandemic. They amounted to USD 1,077 million, comprising USD 833 million in football activities and USD 244 million in administrative activities. FIFA also invested USD 45 million in emergency funds through stage 3 of the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan.
Competitions & Events
FIFA made a concerted effort to ensure that the three senior tournaments that were unable to take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic were successfully hosted in 2021, namely the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020, the Olympic Football Tournaments Tokyo 2020 and the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021, alongside two exciting competitions: the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Russia 2021 and the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021. The FIFA Club World Cup 2021 was rescheduled to February 2022. Overall, USD 158 million was invested in the FIFA tournaments and events held in 2021. A further USD 23 million went to the FIFA Club Protection Programme, while USD 53 million was allocated to personnel expenses and depreciation of property and equipment, making a total Competitions & Events investment of USD 234 million.
Development & Education
FIFA’s Development & Education programmes play a critical role in supporting the growth of the game and making it truly global at every level. FIFA’s 2021 investment in this area totalled USD 555 million, including USD 376 million in FIFA Forward 2.0. By the end of 2021, FIFA had released funds for Forward 2.0 totalling USD 1,013 million, of which USD 782 million went directly to FIFA’s member associations and USD 231 million to the confederations and zonal/regional/other football associations. The detailed information regarding FIFA Forward funds released can be downloaded here.
Furthermore, FIFA promotes the game as a vehicle for social development, fighting racism and discrimination, environmental sustainability and football technology. In 2021, FIFA dedicated USD 51 million to the Refereeing Assistance Programme, technical development programmes, the FIFA Foundation, women’s football promotion, other projects, education, sustainability, human rights and anti-discrimination, audit and financial education, and medicine and science.
FIFA’s signature Forward 2.0 development programme was unaffected by the pandemic. Accordingly, it is expected that the full-cycle budget of USD 1,746 million will be invested to the benefit of FIFA’s 211 member associations, the six confederations and the zonal/regional associations. As a result, FIFA is taking its investment in football development to new heights. FIFA anticipates that more than 87% of its net revenue after sales costs will be reinvested in football by the end of the cycle.
Football Governance expenses came to USD 44 million, with increased investments in the FIFA Fund for Football Players, which aims to provide financial support to players who have not been paid by their clubs.
FIFA Governance & Administration
Expenses for FIFA Governance & Administration totalled USD 192 million, a reduction of 19% compared to the 2021 budget. The savings were mainly attributable to two items, the largest being the reduced travel activities of the FIFA administration, followed by a change in format from physical to virtual conferences for the FIFA Congress, FIFA Council and committee meetings.
Marketing & TV Broadcasting
USD 52 million was dedicated to the category of Marketing & TV Broadcasting. FIFA made significant incremental investments in the digital field to keep pace with fans’ demand for the sport.
USD 1,500 million – the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan
FIFA’s very robust financial position enabled a substantial COVID-19 Relief Plan, amounting to USD 1,500 million, to be put in place, which was aimed at alleviating the distress caused by the pandemic and at providing financial support to assist football’s resumption as well as protect the future welfare of the game across the globe. The implementation of the COVID-19 Relief Plan is well on track. This robust programme comes with auditing, accountability and good governance built in, and demonstrates FIFA’s commitment to football and solidarity with the football family in times of crisis. The detailed information regarding the funds released under the plan can be downloaded here.
USD 201 million – the US DOJ remission award
In August 2021, the United States Department of Justice awarded more than USD 201 million to the FIFA Foundation as compensation for the losses suffered by FIFA (USD 60 million), Concacaf and CONMEBOL as victims of decades of football corruption schemes. This money was seized from the bank accounts of former officials who were involved in, and then prosecuted for, their role in the schemes. The funds are now being administered by the new World Football Remission Fund, established under the auspices of the FIFA Foundation to help finance football-related projects with a positive community impact across the globe. All projects will be submitted to strict monitoring, auditing and compliance checks to guarantee full transparency and accountability.
2021 investments/expenses by category (in TUSD)
Actual investments/expenses 2019‑2021 and cycle outlook (USD million)
Strong financial position maintained
At the end of 2021, FIFA’s financial position remained healthy and robust with sufficient reserves, demonstrating FIFA’s ability to react quickly to unexpected circumstances alongside its regular commitments.
FIFA’s total assets had increased by 21% to USD 5,492 million by the end of 2021, thanks to a continued strong cash flow stemming from the sale of TV broadcasting and marketing rights for the approaching FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. As at balance sheet date, 78% of FIFA’s total assets were in the form of cash and cash equivalents and financial assets, standing at USD 4,270 million, an increase of USD 775 million or 22% over the 2020 amount. Current assets amounted to USD 3,877 million, providing financial flexibility and liquidity for FIFA. FIFA’s total liabilities amounted to USD 3,854 million, an increase of USD 1,200 million. The lion’s share of this increase related to higher contract liabilities. In line with IFRS 15 (revenue recognition), contract liabilities will be derecognised and revenue recognised when FIFA successfully delivers the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Thanks to FIFA’s continuing contribution to the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan and increasing investments in its global football development programmes and international competitions of the highest quality, FIFA’s reserves decreased to USD 1,638 million. The equity ratio stood at 30%, showing that FIFA retains a solid level of reserves. FIFA’s equity is naturally expected to be at its highest at the end of the 2019-2022 cycle, after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
With the adoption of the new FIFA Financial Asset Management Regulations, FIFA Finance has been working with two international financial institutions to finalise the investment portfolios specified in the regulations, which consist of money-market investments, government bonds, global bonds and global equities, all of which feature high liquidity and creditworthy counterparties. This investment strategy ensures that FIFA can meet its financial obligations at all times and is able to respond quickly to emergencies, especially in relation to its flagship tournament, the FIFA World Cup, and unexpected crises such as global pandemics.
In conclusion, FIFA’s financial position remains exceptionally robust and sustainable, providing the organisation with a solid financial foundation on which to make football truly global.
Goal 11 of the FIFA President’s Vision 2020-2023 is to “Make football work for society”, which includes an objective to deliver green solutions. In this regard, FIFA is committed to protecting the environment, its biodiversity and the climate with the aim of mitigating any negative impacts caused by its operations. The FIFA Finance Division is preparing a proposal to be submitted to the FIFA Finance Committee in 2022 for the application of sustainable investment strategies using environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria when defining the portfolios.
Balance sheet as at 31 December 2021 versus 31 December 2020 (in TUSD)
Development of reserves 2014‑2021 (USD million)