FIFA’s World Cup Balls: ‘Worse Than Ticketmaster’

More evil than Ticketmaster? That’s the accusation fielded by Grant WIlliams against FIFA, World Cup soccer’s governing body. Even better, he’s got the numbers to back it up. It seems FIFA requires you to put down money on tickets before the championships have shaken out. If the team whom you’ve pre-paid to watch doesn’t qualify, FIFA refunds your money—minus a per-ticket “modality” fee.

The four tickets Grant reserved ended up costing him $183, even though he didn’t get any tickets, due to service charges made worse by a bad exchange rate. (The FIFA only takes money in Euro.) Not only is FIFA raking in serious money just for a chance at tickets, they are also getting the use of millions of dollars for months, interest-free.

First, we’ll tackle the interest free loan we whose teams failed to qualify provided to FIFA. 40 X 10000 X 149 is nearly 60 million euros. Assume a nominal interest rate of 2% in Germany, and FIFA made 700,000 euros, and more if they were smart and invested in higher yielding, dollar-denominated assets. I’d like a 60 million euro interest-free loan for 7 months. It’s a sweet deal.

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