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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world’s governing soccer body, has posted its financial report as it suffered a net loss of $683 million in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which brought about lockdown measures across the globe.

According to Fifa, their revenue for the year totalled $266.5m, a significant decrease of $499.1 (65%) compared to the revenue of 2019 which was $765.6m.

FIFA recorded a total expense of up to $1.04 billion. It recorded football-related expenses of $564.2m and administration expenses of $209.8m, while the rest was FIFA’s Covid-19 relief plan which is a new addition to their expenses column due to the pandemic.

The Covid-19 relief plan included solidarity grants ($186m), confederation grants ($12m) and women’s soccer grants ($72.5m) which makes up $270.5m in total.

The solidarity grants relate to a universal solidarity grant of $1m that has been made available to each of the 211 member associations at a total of $211m. As at 31 December 2020, a total of $186m in grants had been expensed, of which $89.8 was paid out.

The confederation grants concern a basic solidarity fund of $2m to each of the six confederations which are Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Confederation of African Football (CAF), Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL), Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to make up a total of $12m, all of which was paid out.

In order to protect women‘s football and to ensure its healthy resumption, dedicated funds were also made available under COVID-19 Relief Plan – women’s football grants, with $0.5m being paid to each member association. The total amount available is $105.5m, with a release of $72.5m reported for 2020.

Fifa recorded a net loss of $683m for 2020, a $497.7m increase compared to last year’s loss of $185.3m.

The largest source of revenue for Fifa is for the first time the licensing right which brought in $158.8m, due to a downturn in revenue from soccer.

Chairman of the Fifa Finance Committee, Alejandro Domínguez said: “At year-end, Fifa’s financial position remained healthy and robust with sufficient reserves, maintaining Fifa’s ability to react quickly to unexpected circumstances alongside its regular commitments.

“By way of example, Fifa was able to set up the Fifa Covid-19 Relief Plan without dropping its commitment to invest $1bn in women’s football over the current four-year cycle. As far as planned investment was concerned, Fifa’s total investments in 2020 amounted to $774m.

“Fifa’s revenue in 2020 was in line with its revised budget. At the end of the year, contracted revenue amounted to $5.125bn, representing 80 per cent of the total budgeted revenue for the 2019-2022 cycle. Fifa is well on track to achieve its revenue target.”

On the health of its balance sheet, Fifa said that “total assets amounted to $4.535bn, of which 77 per cent or $3.494bn was in the form of cash and cash equivalents and financial assets”.

Fifa actively increased its liquidity, which can also be seen in the proportion of cash and cash equivalents to total assets, which increased from 17 per cent in 2019 to 25 per cent in 2020. This high level of liquidity enabled Fifa to respond with great flexibility to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global football community.

Current assets and current liabilities stood at $3.312bn and $913m respectively. This ratio shows that Fifa is in good financial health and can adequately meet its short-term obligations.

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