How to boycott Fifa: a football fan's guide

Fans around the world are angry - here's what you can do

Adam Withnall@adamwithnall
Friday 29 May 2015 07:10

With Fifa hit by two major corruption probes on Wednesday and suffering its greatest crisis in history, fans are understandably frustrated with the organisation. Here’s a practical guide on what you can do to express your anger at football’s governing body.

Don’t go to the World Cup

It’s a tough one to stomach for many football fans, particularly with the memory of the fantastic Brazil 2014 tournament still relatively fresh in the memory.

German soccer fans react after the deciding goal for Germany in the final of the Brazil World Cup 2014

But the most direct way you say you’ve had enough with Fifa and hurt their coffers at the same time is by committing to not going to the World Cups in 2018 or 2022.

Fifa says 93 per cent of its income comes from event-related revenues, of which the vast majority is from the World Cup.

Don’t watch World Cup qualifiers

Fifa also owns the broadcasting revenues to its games, including qualifiers for the World Cup.

This figure has almost doubled in the past 10 years, from $385million (£251 million) in 2004 to $742 million in 2014.

Stephen Gerrard pictured during England's qualifying match against Poland for 2014 World Cup

Don’t buy Fifa games and merchandise

For many, Fifa is just as famous for its range of video games as it is for being the sport’s governing body.

But while the game is a borderline addiction for some fans, it contributes directly to Fifa’s revenues. Fifa says in generated $37 million in the four years 2007-2010 from what it calls its “Branded Licensing Programme”.

A still from 'Fifa 14' on the Xbox

Don’t even buy Fifa-approved products

One of Fifa’s roles is to offer a quality assurance programme that it calls “Quality Concept”.

The organisation makes a huge amount of money from declaring certain products Fifa-approved - $8 million a year, in fact. It largely applies to footballs that come with a Fifa-inspected “quality mark”.

Don’t use Fifa’s sponsors

Fifa takes vast sums from its commercial partners, who pay a premium to be named as the organisation’s sponsors. Sony, which ended its relationship with Fifa at the end of last year, said its eight-year contract up to that point was worth $280 million.

Brazuca match balls for the FIFA World Cup 2014 lie in a rack in front of the adidas logo

Fifa’s key commercial partners are adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa, Gazprom and Hyundai/Kia. It’s World Cup sponsors, or minor partners, include McDonald’s and Budweiser.

Contact their bosses

If you can’t bear to change all your Visa credit cards or trade in your car, you can at least get in touch with the sponsors’ bosses to put pressure on them to look into their relationships with Fifa.

Coca-Cola: Email or tweet @COcaColaCo

Adidas: Contact here or tweet @adidas

Visa: Email or tweet @visa

Gazprom: Email or tweet @GazpromFootball

Hyundai: Contact here or tweet @hyundai_global

McDonald’s: Contact here or tweet @McDonalds

Budweiser: Contact here or tweet @Budweiser

Share your support for a boycott and sign petitions

There are a couple of petitions involving the World Cup and Fifa which you can get on board with, here and here.

In the meantime, you can share your support for a boycott of Fifa via social media with the hashtag #BoycottFIFA.

But don’t stop playing football

26 August 2013: Bourton Rovers First XI play against Bourton Rovers Second XI during the annual Bourton-on-the-Water Football Match played on the River Windrush, in Bourton-on-the-Water, England.

Fifa has little responsibility for football within the countries of its member nations – so while the FA does take money from most football-related activities in the UK, for instance, your amateur league match fees aren’t heading up the ladder to Sepp Blatter.

But the FA does face pressure to accommodate Fifa, in part because matches like World Cup qualifiers will help pay the huge bill for building the new Wembley Stadium.

You can actually support the FA towards greater financial independence from Fifa by becoming more active in association football – whether that be through watching more domestic football or joining a local team.

And you can lobby the FA to work through Uefa and boycott Fifa itself, a so-called “nuclear option” that is being discussed on a national and continental level at the moment.

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