Mental Health vs FIFA Funding: As of Thursday 1/20, reports have emerged from London where FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has addressed the footballing fraternity about reshaping the international calendar. This may need some major ‘reshaping’ now that it has also been reported that majority of FIFA members are pushing for a biennial World Cup. (Mental Health vs FIFA Funding)
FIFA World Cup – arguably the biggest sporting event in the World, which for some, even trumps the Olympics is believed to bring in a revenue of US $5.2 billion. If we continue following the trends that have been set, finance gurus believe the revenue increases by 8% every event which does not include the revenue generated by broadcast rights.
To the struggling nations, FIFA may be doing them a massive favor by increasing the frequency of this event. While the event’s general aim may be to provide entertainment to the fans world wide, its commodification has brought everlasting effects to several countries’ economies. (Mental Health vs FIFA Funding)
Focusing the attention towards UEFA, a governing body that focusses on Europe, that currently is in charge of all the top leagues in Europe and most importantly the coveted Champion’s League. UEFA generates an annual revenue between US $3.5 billion and US$ 5.0 billion. The revenue generated from them get redistributed among the top playing European nations and the winnings are redistributed based on the table standings or the competitions that the teams are a part of.
The average football season with the domestic league cups and other cups all can account to around 50 odd games for a mid-tier team and between 55-60 for the teams that manage to go further in the tournaments. (Mental Health vs FIFA Funding)
Now we throw in the World Cup, an average 45 day event in the mix and we end up with a ‘off-season’ period of 6 weeks for the players. In these COVID stricken times, when players have complained about mental issues, and spending times in a bubble, the timetable with an additional 45 days of football in years when they do not have the Euros may very well be an overkill.
Ultimately, the balance may have to be struck whether we wish to see a Quality game of football or just an immense Quantity of Football? (Mental Health vs FIFA Funding)
As much as we believe Gianni Infantino speaks in the best interest and general welfare of the players as he addresses the masses, all we can do is wait and watch how FIFA balances this act. Personal cheque books vs mental sanity – that is the question.