Soccer

FIFA study urges value of sports to Swiss economy

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ZURICH (AP)

FIFA-backed research says international sports organizations were worth 1.46 billion Swiss francs ($1.59 billion) and accounted for 8,040 jobs in Switzerland's economy in 2011.

FIFA communications director Walter De Gregorio says the study, involving 67 sports bodies based in Switzerland, fulfilled a ''responsibility to contribute with facts and figures to relevant public policy discussions.''

After corruption scandals implicating FIFA officials, Swiss lawmakers reconsidered sports bodies' exemptions from some tax and business regulations.

FIFA anti-corruption adviser Mark Pieth has described Switzerland's reputation as a ''pirates' harbor.''

The figures covered employment, meetings and conferences, according to research commissioned by FIFA from Zurich-based consultants Ruetter + Partner.

The study says sports bodies generated tax revenues for Switzerland of 128 million Swiss francs ($140 million), directly from salaries and profits and indirectly from spending.

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