FIFA confident of weathering recession

ZURICH - FIFA is confident it will ride out the global economic crisis after figures released on Friday showed revenues rose in 2008.

Revenues were up to $957 million from 882 million in 2007 while expenditure also fell to 773 million from 833 million, FIFA's annual financial report said.

The rise in revenues is largely due to increased income from the marketing of rights for future World Cups.

"We hope that, thanks to our longstanding relationship with our partners, the effects of the worldwide economic downturn will have only a limited effect on FIFA's revenue," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in the report.

"This situation will serve as an incentive for clubs to pay greater attention to youth development and thereby strengthen their regional identity."