FIFA bailout to COVID-19-hit member bodies



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FIFA relief fund Image: FIFA.com

World football’s governing body – FIFA – announced recently that it will make available $1.5 billion in grants and loans as a relief fund to help associations impacted by coronavirus – the deadly disease which has choked the world.

FIFA said that each of the 211 member associations will get a one million dollars payment, part of which will be granted in July this year, while the rest in January next year.

FIFA boss Gianni Infantino said the relief fund had been “unanimously approved” by the members of its council and insisted there would be “strict controls” on how the money is expended.

Heimo Schirgi, Director, Operations & Special Events, FIFA, will be one of the Speakers at the Coliseum Summit EUROPE to be held at Ascot Racecourse in UK.

All 211 member associations will be entitled to a “basic solidarity grant” of $1 million each as well as $500,000 which must be invested in women’s football.

Apart from this, member associations can also apply for a COVID-19 relief loan worth 35 percent of their revenue up to a maximum of $5 million each. Continental governing bodies will get $2 million as a relief grant, and can also apply for an extra $4 million relief loan.

Both grants and loans can be directed by member associations to the wider football community in their respective territories, including clubs, players, leagues, or others that have been affected by the global pandemic.

Infantino assured “strict controls on the use of the funds, with audits”, and said there would be “very clear conditions” laid down for how loans are repaid.

FIFA is financing the enormous relief fund by dipping into its reserves, with $328 million covering grants and $556 million to finance loans, Infantino informed.

“Clubs and federations are in real danger. In some parts of the world, football has not restarted. We need to help them,” he said.

The creation of the relief fund was announced by FIFA in March, when football across major parts of the globe was halted as the fatal respiratory disease spread rapidly and continues to take a huge toll on lives.

The Zurich-based body had already announced in April that it would free up $150 million in subsidies to member associations to help deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

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