By Favour Nnabugwu
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has secured insurance for the Qatar 2022 World Cup for $900 million. according to the governing body’s newly-published 2020 financial statements.
However, the names of the insurance companies and brokers for 2022 World Cup were not mentioned
FIFA said the “maximum insurance volume” was $900 million (£648 million/€754 million).
The full FIFA statement regarding insurance reads as follows: “In 2019, FIFA concluded an insurance policy for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
“The maximum insurance volume is $900 million, which covers FIFA’s additional costs in case of cancellation, postponement and/or relocation of the event.
“The risks covered include natural disasters, accidents, turmoil, war, acts of terrorism and communicable diseases.”
FIFA’s business model remains heavily dependent on the quadrennial tournament, which will be staged for the first time in 2022 in the northern-hemisphere winter.
According to the financial statements: “FIFA’s financial position depends on the successful staging of the FIFA World Cup because almost all contracts with its commercial affiliates are related to this event.
“In the event of cancellation, curtailment or abandonment of the FIFA World Cup, FIFA would run the risk of potentially being exposed to legal claims,” the accounts added.
FIFA is currently budgeting for total revenue of $4.67 billion (£3.36 billion/€3.91 billion) in 2022.
More than half – $2.64 billion (£1.9 billion/€2.21 billion) – of this would come from broadcasting rights, with a further $1.35 billion (£972 million/€1.13 billion) from marketing rights and $500 million (£360 million/€419 million) from hospitality rights and ticket sales.
The governing body plans to invest just under $1.7 billion (£1.22 billion/€1.42 billion) in the competition.
FIFA said it took out the insurance in 2019.
This would have been in advance of the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect top-level sport and has forced international spectators to be barred from the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics later this year.
The football body is being markedly more transparent on this issue than the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has declined to confirm how much protection it took out for Tokyo 2020 or to say whether it has already submitted a claim, citing confidentiality clauses.
Articles on the subject have in the past sometimes assessed the amount of protection taken out by the IOC at $800 million (£576 million/€670 million).
It is known that the IOC spent $14.4 million (£10.4 million/€12 million) on cancellation insurance for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The IOC said last year it expected postponement of Tokyo 2020 to cost the organisation $800 million (£576 million/€670 million).
From an insurance industry perspective, should an unexpected event waylay the World Cup, the scale and types of potential losses is staggering.
It follows that brokers and agents have reported higher-than-ever premiums for businesses and individuals involved in the World Cup, according to Reuters.
The rate hike of roughly 10 percent over the previous World Cup is largely driven by concerns about terrorism and ‘hooliganism.’