FIFA paid 20 million euros ($27.1 million) to help fund a movie about the World Cup featuring Tim Roth as its president, Sepp Blatter. FIFA finance director Markus Kattner told reporters Monday that funding for “United Passions” was agreed at the 2009 congress in the Bahamas. Some FIFA executive committee members privately said they had no idea football income was paying for a feature film.
The costs are funded from an existing budget.
FIFA finance director Markus Kattner
The exact purpose was unspecified. FIFA’s contribution equals one year’s budget for its “Goal” development program which funds football projects in mostly poorer countries. FIFA’s independent audit overseer, Domenico Scala, said football’s governing body was entitled to spend the money on what critics have claimed was a vanity project for Blatter. Still, the Swiss industrialist acknowledged that FIFA board members might not have seen a “single line entry” in a meeting agenda or financial report. “United Passions” stars Gerard Depardieu as World Cup founder Jules Rimet, the former FIFA president. The French-produced movie was launched last month at the Cannes Film Festival. It currently has limited release in only a few countries.
Was it included in an approved budget? And the answer is yes.
Domenico Scala, FIFA’s independent audit overseer