• Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Organizational setback for FIFA Forward programme

ByMedia desk

Jun 17, 2024 ,

According to the British newspaper the Guardian, FIFA is about to relocate its bureau in Paris to smaller premises after staff numbers dropped by more than half. The bureau involved apparently deals with the FIFA Forward programme, the support programme that assists each member association and the six confederations.

The bureau is currently located in the Hôtel de la Marine and opened in 2021. It is one of 12 established by world football’s governing body as part of what FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, has described as “our ambition to make football truly global.”

According to the article, the Hôtel de la Marine offices were intended to become a base for its football development activities, including the FIFA Forward programme, which helps member countries with financial and technical resources to develop the game.

No tax exemption

The newspaper claims that FIFA will move out at the end of the month and relocate to smaller offices on the Place de la Concorde. That is a result of the sharp drop in staff numbers since it opened with 35 employees, all of whom had moved from FIFA’s existing headquarters in Zurich.

They had hoped to be exempt from higher taxes in France that would effectively reduce their salaries by up to 35%, after French president Macron had proposed tax benefits for international federations if they moved to the country.

But the plan was heavily criticised and was ruled as unconstitutional by the French constitutional council in December. As a result, dissatisfied staff started to depart. It is understood that only five of the original 35 remain in the post, and that fewer than half have been replaced.

“What is crazy is that they forced people to break their contracts in Switzerland without giving the conditions of the French contract,” one source told the newspaper. “In Paris, people are paid 30-35% less than they were before.”

A FIFA spokesperson did not deny the plan to move premises but told the newspaper that it “will base its strategic decisions about employees and office on the clarity of the French statutes for international federations.”

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