Thursday, February 5, 2015

FIFA GOAL Projects Approved 1999-2014

I downloaded all the GOAL Project data into Excel from the FIFA website, one country at a time, using a macro, and then spent quite a bit of time reworking it into a usable format. FIFA doesn't make it easy to mine data from

I then imported it into Tableau and created some rudimentary dashboards and visualisations. Forgive my beginning Tableau skills.

The site doesn't display it properly, so you should view it on the Tableau Public website.

I added a second sheet showing Total Approved Payments by Country and Year, based on a four-year grouping ending in World Cup Finals years. I was surprised to see two quite wealthy countries in the top five recipients of GOAL and FAP funding, with Bahrain in first place overall and the United Arab Emirates in fifth.

You can click on different parts of the dashboards to see some of the underlying data, If they aren't working, the Tableau Public site is probably down.

The different colours in the first dashboard relate to different Project Categories (Headquarters, Technical Centre, Football Pitch, IT Projects, etc.) There is quite a lot of overlap in the way they are recorded on the FIFA website. You can see which is which by hovering over different segments of the chart. If you click on a segment it acts as a filter for the table below (be patient, it may take a few seconds).

The total budget amount includes both GOAL Project funding and FAP (Financial Assistance Project) funding.

The projects with NULL years are actually apparently the pilot projects approved in 1999.

I included the FIFA three-letter Trigramme because it is useful to know if you want to look at one of FIFA's webpages for just one country. For example, to see a PDF in English about Kazakhstan's GOAL Projects through 2010, enter this URL in your browser: 
To change to another country, just change the trigramme. For example, replace the KAZ with NZL to see the equivalent New Zealand page.

One thing that surprised me is how much GOAL Project support UEFA countries have received over the past five or six years. When you throw in the funding from other non-FIFA sources, UEFA receives much more than any other confederation (not shown on my dashboard).

From looking at the second dashboard, I noted that the total amount approved for all African countries combined across all fifteen years is about US$105 million. To put that in perspective, FIFA paid more than a quarter of that amount to fund the self-aggrandizing box office flop, United Passions, in 2014.

Indeed, FIFA spent more on United Passions than it gave to the top ten African recipient nations combined across the entire 16 years since GOAL Projects were introduced. Maybe that puts FIFA's commitment to Africa under Sepp Blatter's presidency in context.

Of course, the dashboard relies on the data on FIFA's website being accurate, complete and up-to-date.

If anyone would like the underlying data for their own visulalisations, tweet me @NextFIFAPres and I would be happy to send what I have. I can foresee additional data such as number of players, population and GDP being included.

I would also welcome ideas for better visualisations.

Hope you find this useful. Would love to see what a true pro Tableau user could do with this.

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