The FIFA that Blatter built

Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:29pm EDT
 
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By MIMI DWYER AND MATTHEW WEBER

(Reuters) - The soccer representatives of many nations, particularly from Africa and Asia, have shown a lot of loyalty to outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter over his 17-year reign, despite long-running allegations of widespread corruption in soccer’s main governing body.

    Many of the soccer associations in those countries have been particularly grateful that Blatter’s FIFA handed out substantial grants for various facilities, equipment and training, including soccer fields and youth development programs.

    Under Blatter, FIFA has handed its development money out strategically. Members of FIFA with only tiny populations have often received as much in grant money as those with massive populations, a Reuters analysis of FIFA data shows.

(For a graphic look at the FIFA that its President Sepp Blatter was instrumental in developing, click here)

    For example, a FIFA development program created by Blatter in 1999 directs the most funds per capita to small countries. The so-called Goal Programme has focused the largest per-capita portions of development money on members with populations under 200,000 — most of them island nations.

    Topping the list is Montserrat in the Caribbean, which has received $1.45 million in Goal money since 1999, or about $278 for each of its 5,215 residents. The Cook Islands in the Pacific received $2.37 million, or $234 per person, followed by Anguilla, also in the Caribbean, with $1.10 million, or $69 per resident.   Continued...

 
FIFA President Sepp Blatter leaves after his statement during a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich