Blatter earned $5.2m as Fifa incurs first deficit since 2002

ZURICH • Football's ruling body Fifa said it paid disgraced former president Sepp Blatter US$3.8 million (S$5.15 million) last year, publishing his salary for the first time under new governance regulations.

Fifa also announced it lost US$122 million in 2015, its first deficit since 2002, attributing that mainly to the costs of battling the worst graft scandal in its history.

In particular, Fifa's legal fees rose from US$31.29 million in 2014 to US$61.49 million, while its reserves dropped from US$1.52 billion to US$1.34 billion.

"The unprecedented events that occurred in 2015 have impacted upon Fifa's financial results, however the organisation's healthy reserves have allowed it to weather the storm," the Swiss-based federation said in a statement.

Several dozen officials, including former members of Fifa's executive committee, have been indicted in the United States while Blatter has been banned for six years by the ruling body's ethics committee.

  • Sports leaders' pay packets

  • Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter's salary was revealed by football's governing body on Thursday. Here is how it compares to other sports figures last year (including bonuses and endorsements):

    Sepp Blatter: US$3.6 million (S$4.87 million) Roger Goodell (National Football League commissioner): US$34 million David Stern (former National Basketball Association commissioner): US$20 million in 2014 Rob Manfred (Commissioner of baseball): Thought to be similar to the US$22 million earned by predecessor Bud Selig Don Garber (Major League Soccer commissioner) : US$2.6 million Floyd Mayweather (boxing): US$300 million Cristiano Ronaldo (football): US$79.6 million Roger Federer (tennis): US$67 million

His salary as Fifa president had long been the subject of speculation. It was finally published on Thursday under new rules which were passed in February in an attempt to make Fifa transparent.

Despite the financial troubles, Fifa said it revised its projected revenue for the 2015-2018 cycle upwards from US$5 billion to US$5.65 billion, with projected investments amounting to US$5.55 billion.

New Fifa president Gianni Infantino, whose salary has not been revealed, made ambitious promises during his election campaign to increase spending on football development around the world.

"During my presidency, I pledge to lead Fifa into a brighter and more sustainable future so that we can all return our full focus to football," he said.

Meanwhile, Switzerland has begun criminal proceedings against former Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke.

The Swiss Attorney-General's office said that as part of an inquiry into Fifa's running, it has launched criminal proceedings against Valcke, "on suspicion of various acts of criminal mismanagement".

The office said it had begun "searches and interviews" on Thursday and that the criminal probe was opened in response to two specific criminal complaints made during an investigation into his Fifa tenure by Fifa's ethics committee.

The Frenchman, who was Blatter's right-hand man for nearly a decade, was sacked in January and banned from football for 12 years over misconduct in television deals and World Cup ticket sales.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2016, with the headline 'Blatter earned $5.2m as Fifa incurs first deficit since 2002'. Print Edition | Subscribe