FIFA has decided to open a new commercial office in Paris at the beginning of 2021.
The new outpost is a part of the global soccer body’s push into France and French-speaking markets and could ‘also lead to new activities in the Paris region’, Fifa said in a statement.
According to Le Monde, Fifa will relocate some of its business functions from Zurich to the new Paris branch, such as meetings with Francophone federations, notably from Africa.
During a meeting organized at the Elysee Palace on Monday in the presence of the President of the French Football Federation (FFF) Noël Le Graët, Gianni Infantino, President of Fifa, and Emmanuel Macron, the French President, “began to d ‘agreement on the principle of opening a Fifa branch in Paris ”at the start of 2021. The teams of Choose France, the French program intended to attract foreign investors, must now work on the“ operational modalities ”of this establishment, adds Fifa in a statement.
This is, for the body based in Zurich (Switzerland), “to consolidate its relations with France and the Francophonie, as well as Unesco and the French Development Agency”, without further information on the number of the employees concerned and their activity.According to the newspaper Le Monde, Fifa wants to relocate part of its commercial services to Paris and organize meetings with French-speaking federations, especially African federations, regarding issues of governance and football development. The opening of this branch should take place in February 2021. Fifa has thus made the choice of Paris, after having also studied cities such as Singapore, London and Dubai.
This is not the prelude to a possible return of the headquarters of Fifa to Paris, the cradle of the organization, a spokesperson told AFP. Founded in 1904 in Paris, rue Saint-Honoré, in the 1st arrondissement, by the French, Belgian, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss and Danish football federations, chaired from 1920 to 1954 by the French father of the World Cup, Jules Rimet, Fifa has been in Switzerland since 1932.