FIFA to release $150m to member-associations to cushion effect of COVID-19 pandemic
FIFA will release operational funds for 2019 and 2020, amounting to $150 million (about N60 billion), to its member-associations, the global football body said on Friday.
The world football ruling body said this would be the first step of a relief plan to help negate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each of FIFA’s 211 member-associations would receive $500,000 (about N200 million) in the coming days as well as any remaining entitlements for 2019 and 2020, it added.
The coronavirus outbreak has brought football to a standstill and clubs have struggled to cope with the loss of revenue.
“The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for the entire football community and, as the world governing body, it is FIFA’s duty to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.
“This starts by providing immediate financial assistance to our member-associations, many of which are experiencing severe financial distress.
“This is the first step of a far-reaching financial relief plan we are developing to respond to the emergency across the whole football community.”
FIFA said it would immediately release the second instalment of operational costs for 2020, originally due in July.
Under normal circumstances, member-associations would have only received the second instalment of operational costs for 2020 in full upon fulfilment of specific criteria.
“This immediate financial assistance should be used to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on football in member-associations, namely to meet financial or operational obligations that they may have towards staff and other third parties,” FIFA said.
According to the president, “FIFA money is football money and football associations are part of football FIFA”