FIFA Pays Staffers More Than Wall Street and Hedge Fund Traders

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Photographer: Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

And you thought hedge funds paid too much. Consider the people who run FIFA, the much-maligned, much-investigated governing body of world soccer.

FIFA, now subject to a sprawling U.S. corruption probe, pays its professional staff 34 percent more than hedge funds and 25 percent more than banks award their traders, according to salary benchmarking site Emolument.com. FIFA also paid its employees 37 percent more than the Union of European Football Associations, or UEFA, Emolument said.

The non-profit organization pays an average salary of $242,000, while hedge fund professionals make $180,000, it said. Banks pay their traders an average salary of $194,000, excluding bonuses, according to the report. The average non-profit employee makes $66,000 a year, London-based Emolument found.

“Financial industry professionals must be breathing a sigh of relief that FIFA remuneration is hogging all the limelight,” said Emolument’s Alice Leguay. “The abyss between FIFA and the average non-profit is simply staggering, beyond the simple fact that FIFA employees made more than traders, who are often pointed out as the epitome of greed.”

The data emerged on the day FIFA’s secretary general said the bidding for the 2026 soccer World Cup would be delayed in the wake of a U.S. investigation into allegations of bribery and kickbacks dating back more than two decades. The case rocked FIFA, leading President Sepp Blatter to announce he’d step down only days after winning a fifth term.

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“This is nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being,” FIFA’s Jerome Valcke told reporters in Samara, Russia, on Wednesday. The process was expected to begin soon, with the vote scheduled for 2017, Valcke said. The U.S., Canada and Mexico are expected to compete for the tournament.

Emolument based its report on data from 2,700 banking, hedge-fund and non-corporations employees. The compensation for Zurich-based FIFA and UEFA were taken from their annual reports, Emolument said.

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