SWC 'a huge financial success'
London - FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Thursday hailed Africa's first World Cup in 2010 as a financial success, after it pushed the governing body's four-year revenues above $4bn for the first time.
Blatter claimed it vindicated the choice of South Africa despite fears that the decision to bring football's biggest tournament to the continent was a financial risk.
"I am the happiest man to announce that the World Cup in South Africa was a huge, huge financial success for everybody, for Africa for South Africa, for FIFA," he told journalists after an executive committee meeting.
"For the first time in FIFA's four-year accounts we are over $4bn."
FIFA, a non-profit association under Swiss law, earned $4.189bn in its 2007 - 2010 financial period, with a surplus of $631m, deputy secretary general and finance chief Markus Kattner said.
Eighty-seven percent of total revenues - $3.655bn - over the period were related to the 2010 World Cup.
Traditionally the bulk of earnings are down to deals on broadcasting rights worldwide and marketing or sponsorship contracts.
"The sale of television and marketing rights was more successful than expected," Kattner underlined.
Last year alone revenues reached $1.29bn with a surplus of $202m.
Although the surplus is redistributed among footballing nations, over the past four years FIFA has nearly doubled its cash reserves to $1.28bn.