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Corporate governance Reports of huge FIFA salaries despite reform pledge

FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the final draw of the World Cup at the Kremlin in December

Gianni Infantino (centre) took over from Sepp Blatter in 2016, on pledges to implement financial discipline at the Swiss-based FIFA. 

(Keystone)

Despite promises of reform and mounting losses, the Swiss-based world football governing body, FIFA, reportedly paid its ruling council nearly $10 million (CHF9.8 million) last year. 

The New York Times newspaper quotes anonymous sourcesexternal link as saying that each of the elected representatives on FIFA’s 37-member council earned $250,000, plus tens of thousands of dollars more in travel expenses. 

The Swiss Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, picking up the story, says FIFA declined to comment. But the alleged salaries are expected to be confirmed when FIFA officially releases its latest financial report in March. 

For a council scheduled to meet only three times this year, such compensation “far exceeds payments for similar work at some of the world’s largest for-profit companies”, says the New York Times. It also appears to contradict repeated pledges by FIFA President Gianni Infantino to restore the organisation’s credibility by imposing financial discipline.  

“There should be, especially for a non-profit [organisation], some sort of justification for the sum,” Alexandra Wrage, president of the corporate governance advisor Trace International, told the New York Times. 

Infantino was elected in 2016 following a major scandal over corruption at FIFA which led to the departure of most of the organisation’s top leaders, including Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini and Jérôme Valcke.

swissinfo.ch/ug

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