Fédération Internationale de Football Association or as we know it ‘FIFA’, is now much more than the governing body of world football. Come Sunday, this non-profit organisation will turn into a landlord and a curator. Yes you read that right. FIFA is all set to open a brand new football museum in a 10-story building at the center of Zurich. The building will also house luxury apartments which tenants can lease to the tune of 3000 to 8000 USD per month.
As the organisation was rocked by serious allegations of financial irregularity, bribery and corruption, in recent times, which culminated in arrests and investigation of several of its top officials including long time chairman Sepp Blatter, the decision to enter into real estate raised eyebrows of many concerned.
Real estate is already a market shrouded with tales of shady business dealings and that is certainly not what FIFA needs on its bio-data at the moment. The decision behind the museum is also taking some flak. FIFA already owns a 4 star hotel called Hotel Ascot in Switzerland which they acquired in 2014. Sports management professor at the University of Michigan Stefan Szymanski said, “It’s not clear why an organization devoted to running global football would be well positioned to get into hotels or restaurants. One might argue whether it’s their responsibility to develop a FIFA-land complex to generate revenue.”
Cchief executive of the FIFA Museum Stefan Jost says the museum is not a FIFA temple. Mr. Jost also claimed that the museum would require a subsidy and would not generate much revenue for the organisation. He claimed that, “FIFA sees this subsidy as a gift to all the football and sports enthusiasts that come to visit.”