U.S. Could Profit From FIFA's $100 Million : Soccer: Staggering World Cup net earnings could bring another tournament as early as the year 2010.


The United States' chances of staging another World Cup, perhaps as early as 2010, were enhanced considerably Thursday when FIFA released its financial figures for last summer's tournament.

Joseph (Sepp) Blatter, the general secretary of international soccer's governing body, said FIFA made a net profit of almost $100 million from World Cup USA '94. This is over and above the $60-million profit already announced by the U.S. organizing committee.

According to the FIFA financial report, the tournament produced revenue to FIFA of $84,304,500 from ticket sales, $90,601,644 from television rights and $60,217,500 from merchandising, for a total of $235,123,644.

Expenses involved in organizing and staging the event totaled $135,434,480, leaving what FIFA termed "surplus receipts" of $99,689,164.

The profit is split, with 30% going to the local organizing committee and 70% to the national soccer federations. The 24 World Cup '94 teams will each receive more than $650,000 per team for each game played. In the case of the U.S. Soccer Federation, this figure is $2.6 million.

For FIFA, the 1994 tournament was one of the most profitable, and several organization executives said the World Cup very easily could return to the United States within two decades. A USSF official said 2010 is most likely the earliest the United States will try to stage the event again.

The presentation of the financial statement was one of several noteworthy developments on the final day of FIFA's three-day meeting here. In other decisions made by the Executive Committee:

--Africa gained ground at the expense of Europe in the allocation of additional berths in the 1998 World Cup in France, and the United States' hopes of qualifying got a solid boost.

There will be eight more teams in 1998, an increase from 24 to 32. The committee allocated two of them to Europe, which had wanted three; two to Africa, one to South America, one to Asia, one to CONCACAF and one to be split between Asia and Oceania.

On paper, the extra place for CONCACAF should virtually assure that Mexico and the United States qualify for the next tournament, since they are the strongest teams in the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

--Joao Havelange, FIFA's Brazilian president, announced that he would not seek another term in office when his current one ends in 1998. By then, he will have led FIFA for 28 years. He suggested that an interim president be chosen from the Executive Committee to serve a two-year term from 1998-2000, thereby assuring that the election of future presidents will not coincide with World Cup tournaments.

--Japan and South Korea remain the only candidates to stage the World Cup in 2002, which FIFA said will take place in Asia, but the list of hopefuls for 2006 grew to include Germany, South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Brazil.

--Major League Soccer is virtually certain to postpone its inaugural season until 1996, Blatter said.

--The Los Angeles Salsa of the American Professional Soccer League was given provisional permission by FIFA to play for one season in the Mexican second division. However, CONCACAF is expected to veto the move.

--In keeping with the lifting of United Nations' sanctions against Yugoslavia, FIFA lifted its ban on Yugoslav clubs and the national team for a 100-day trial period.

--Former Argentine star Diego Maradona, banned from "all soccer activity" for 15 months after failing a drug test in World Cup '94, will be allowed to continue coaching Argentine first-division team Deportivo Mandiyu. Maradona does not have a coaching license, but Argentine federation President Julio Grondona said that will be remedied.

--From now on, tied games in the later rounds of all FIFA tournaments will go to sudden death, including next year's Women's World Championship in Sweden, the under-20 World Youth Cup in Nigeria and the under-17 World Championship in Ecuador.

"We will call it the 'golden goal,' not sudden death," Blatter said. Games that remain tied after 30 minutes of extra time will be decided by penalty kicks.

--All leagues and all levels of soccer worldwide will have to award three points for a victory starting next season. Some countries, notably England and Italy, already are doing so. Tied games still will be worth one point to each team.

--Plans are under way to establish a soccer resource center in Neuchatal, Switzerland, where archival material, game films, and other reference material can be obtained. Havelange also said courses were to be offered in all aspects of soccer through the University of Neuchatal, with graduates able to earn a diploma in the sport.

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