October 4 – FIFA is reportedly considering relocating its headquarters from Zurich to the United States and is looking at both east and west coast venues.
FIFA recently announced it was setting up a satellite office in Paris marking a return to its historical roots and aligning with Gianni Infantino’s vision for a more global organisation.
Football’s world governing body has been based in Switzerland since 1932 and moved into its current $200 million building in Zurich in 2007.
But now, according to the New York Times, it could move permanently to the USA in a move to boost commercial operations – FIFA has been struggling to retain major global sponsors from the US following the 2015 indictments and has undervalued broadcast agreements in the world’s biggest TV market – and be better prepared for the 2026 World Cup being staged in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
The prospective switch would also help FIFA psychologically distance itself from its history of scandals and corruption in Switzerland where Infantino has been embroiled in an ongoing fraught relationship with the judicial authorities.
“Our aim of making football truly global also means that FIFA itself needs to have a more balanced and global organisational set up,” Infantino said when the Paris office opened.
Last month, the US Department of Justice declared FIFA and other bodies to be victims of corrupt former officials and that they should get more than $200 million from cash forfeited in the FifaGate scandal.
The expansion from its traditional Swiss base into the heartlands of its confederations will be watched with close interest by those confederations who have all expressed the importance of the continued growth of their own regional championships – which they organise – as one of the priorities of any new international match calendar.
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