BERN (Reuters) – The COVID-19 pandemic is more likely to value membership soccer $14 billion this yr worldwide, round one third of its worth, a number one official at international soccer physique FIFA stated on Wednesday.
Olli Rehn, who heads the FIFA committee set as much as deal with the results of the pandemic, stated that FIFA, together with monetary consultants, had estimated the membership recreation to be value between $40 billion and $45 billion worldwide.
He stated the determine of $14 billion was based mostly on the present situation, the place soccer is slowly restarting after a three-month hiatus earlier this yr, however it might be a “completely different ball recreation” if the pandemic didn’t let up.
“Soccer has been hit very onerous by the coronavirus pandemic,” Rehn, a former EU commissioner and now governor of the Financial institution of Finland, informed Reuters tv.
“It has created loads of turmoil at completely different ranges with some skilled golf equipment going through very severe difficulties. I am additionally very involved about youth academies and decrease division golf equipment.”
Rehn stated that soccer in South America had been particularly onerous hit, whereas Africa and Asia had been additionally a priority.
“It’s a actual hazard that the great work that has been accomplished growing soccer in Asia and Africa could possibly be ruined, so we wish to soften the blow and keep the event that has been accomplished,” he stated.
FIFA has allotted $1.5 billion to assist deal with the results of the pandemic and Rehn stated 150 of the 211 member associations had thus far utilized for funds.
He stated that, whereas soccer was slowly re-awakening, one other downturn couldn’t be dominated out.
“The essential factor shall be whether or not a vaccine shall be developed and can be utilized, and that we now have medical and different means to completely include and tame the pandemic, and that’s unsure,” he stated.
“We can’t rule out worse developments and that may be one other ball recreation if the pandemic had been to proceed in a extreme kind subsequent yr. Now we’re engaged on the premise of the present situation.”
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