FIFA faces $108 million deficit for 2015 - finance overseer
By Brian Homewood
ZURICH (Reuters) - Soccer's scandal-hit governing body FIFA is facing a shortfall of $108 million for the last financial year as a result of its "falling credibility", a member of its audit and compliance committee said on Thursday.
FIFA is in the throes of a corruption scandal that has engulfed top officials and last year saw several dozen international officials indicted in the United States for racketeering, money-laundering and bribery.
In July, former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said that it was difficult to renew sponsorship deals and that no major deals would be announced until the election of a new president to replace Sepp Blatter on Feb. 26.
Suketu Patel, who sits on the independent audit and compliance committee which reviews FIFA finances, is the first FIFA official to publicly disclose an exact figure.
"In terms of finances, I say the situation is very critical because for the first time in the last 20-odd years, FIFA's finances are showing a deficit this year, about $108 million. It's a fact," he said.
Patel, who is also the vice-president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was speaking at a news conference on African football associations' candidates for the presidency.
"Primarily it happens because there is a shortfall in the budgetary revenue and the actual contracts signed of $530 million, arising from a lack of credibility," he said.
"So there is no choice but to make sure that at FIFA we get it right...," he said.
A FIFA spokesman said the results for 2015 were being reviewed and would be announced in March.
FIFA had initially budgeted for a deficit of $5 million in 2015, expecting to make up for that shortfall in the 2015-18 cycle for which it forecast a surplus of $100 million.
Those figures were contained in the 2013 financial report published before the scandal broke last May.
On Saturday, FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne said: "FIFA is currently going through a difficult period with a deficit of about $100 million in 2015."
(Editing by Louise Ireland)