Between 2011 and 2014 FIFA distributed a minimum of US$2.05 million to each of its 209 member football associations (FAs). This included a one-off payment in 2014 of US$1.05 million following the success of the World Cup.During that same period FIFA also gave US$102 million to the six regional football Confederations.
FIFA says the money is for football development. But other than a partial accounting on the FIFA web site, there is no clear way to track what the FAs did with all that money.
- 81 per cent of FAs have no financial records publicly available
- 21 per cent of FAs have no websites
- 85 per cent of FAs publish no activity accounts of what they do
Transparency International looked for what information is publicly available on the websites of the activities and expenditures of the 209 FAs and six regional Confederations. We wanted to find out how transparent they are about the money they receive from FIFA and their other revenues.
Many of the FAs and the confederations have income from sponsors, broadcasting licenses, ticket sales, international matches and other sources in addition to the funds for FIFA. While they prominently display the logos of their sponsors on their homepages, little to no information is provided on the value of these deals and activities.
We also sent emails to all 209 FAs asking them for links to the information because many websites are hard to navigate and the information hard to find.
Only fourteen out of FIFA’s 209 football associations – Canada, Denmark, England, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden – publish the minimum amount of information necessary to let people know what they do, how they spend their money and what values they believe in.
While FIFA publishes on its website some details of how its members spend the development funds it gives them, it demands no public accountability from the organisations themselves. It was only in 2014 that FIFA asked for written, audited accounts for its own use. Some of these can be found on the FIFA website. According to FIFA, not all member associations complied by the March 2015 deadline and any further financial assistance payments will not be paid until they do.
In some countries, national laws prescribe what football associations need to publish. These vary from country to country and many do not require significant public disclosure. Nevertheless, we believe that publishing this information is an important part of good governance.