FIFA Considers Leaving Swiss HQ; Paris Seen As Possible Future Home
Senior FIFA execs are giving "serious consideration" to leaving Zurich, Switzerland, the organization’s home for "nearly 90 years," according to Tariq Panja of the N.Y. TIMES. After FIFA President Gianni Infantino was re-elected to a second term in June, he "tasked his top lieutenants with studying the viability of FIFA’s leaving its glass-and-steel headquarters in Zurich." The discussion, which is "still in its early stages, is driven by many factors, but two primary reasons are difficulties in hiring staff members from outside Europe and an acceptance that continuing to base its operations in a country with a reputation for corporate secrecy might not align with the goals of an organization trying to win back the public trust." FIFA's plans "could include leaving Zurich entirely or a partial relocation of operations, which could see FIFA open subsidiary offices in different parts of the world to give it better access to, and oversight of, its 211 member associations." Officials also "have not ruled out maintaining the status quo." FIFA was established in Paris in 1904 but moved to Zurich in 1932 "because of Switzerland’s location in the center of Europe." A source said that among the possibilities under consideration is a "return to Paris." But other locations are also "under consideration with a number of factors expected to factor in any outcome" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/1).