By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – World Cup organizer and football (soccer) governing body FIFA has announced the creation of a special fund of US$100 million to support sports facilities, youth and women’s football, and medical and health projects in Brazil to mitigate the effects the tournament had on the host nation.
The World Cup legacy fund is aimed at giving something back to the tournament’s host nation, as FIFA President Sepp Blatter had promised two years ago and to sustain the long-term impact of the tournament in Brazil.
The World Cup “inevitably has an impact on society and the environment in the host country,” FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke explained in a statement on Tuesday, January 21st. Therefore, organizers had a “responsibility to limit the associated negative effects, while maximizing the huge positive impact it can have.”
Brazil had spent around US$15 billion to organize the World Cup in June and July 2014. Around US$3 billion alone were spent on new and refurbished stadiums and ninety percent of the total money spent came from public sources.
Additionally, public holidays introduced during the tournament were partly to blame for a technical recession in Brazil in late 2014, as government officials have acknowledged. However, it is also estimated that the entire impact of the tournament on Brazil will only be seen in the years to come.
FIFA on the other hand, generated more than US$4 billion in sales from the World Cup with estimates being even higher for the next World Cup in Russia in 2018.
According to the initial budget of the World Cup legacy fund the first US$60 million have been approved for infrastructure projects with a focus on the fifteen states that didn’t host World Cup games.
Another US$15 million will go into youth football development, U$15 million are pledged for women’s football and US$4 million each for medical prevention and public health awareness, as well as social and community awareness projects. Another US$2 million will cover administrative and logistical costs.
The projects will be proposed and carried out by the Brazilian Football Association CBF. FIFA will be in charge of the funding, monitoring and controlling of the money.
“We are convinced that the World Cup Legacy Fund will be an excellent platform to spread the benefits of the 2014 edition. Several key principles will guide us: the project will be implemented in close collaboration with the CBF, we will share and communicate the results in a transparent manner and the use of the funds will be controlled and audited in accordance with the relevant FIFA development regulations,” Valcke explained.
The spending on the next big sport event in Brazil, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, is expected to top the $US15 billion the country spent on the World Cup.