Football Business: FIFA announces massive $1.5 billion war chest to fight Covid19

Football Business,Football News,FIFA,COVID19,Gianni Infantino

FIFA announced on Thursday that it had agreed a US$1.5 billion relief plan to help deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global game.

The first two stages of the plan have already been enacted in April, with FIFA releasing advance payments of $500,000 to its 211 member associations.

FIFA to give $1 Million to each of the 211 member nations

FIFA’s plan means world soccer’s governing body will dip into its reserves to provide national federations with a number of grants and interest-free loans to cope with budget hits.

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In stage three, approved by the Council during an online meeting, further financial support will be provided through a system of grants and loans. 

A universal solidarity grant of $1million will be made available to all member associations, with an additional grant of $500,000 allocated specifically to women’s football. 

Each regional confederation will receive a grant of US$2 million.

FA’s will be able to apply for loans, amounting to up to 35per cent of their audited, annual revenues up to a maximum of US$5 million with confederations able to request up to US$4 million.

Infantino added that there would be strict controls on the use of funds, audit requirements, as well as clear loan repayment conditions.

Olli Rehn, the deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee, who is Governor of the Bank of Finland and a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank, will head a committee set up to administer the funds.

The council also backed changes to the calendar to support confederations’ desires to extend international breaks to allow for fixture congestion and rearranged matches.

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Infantino said no decision has yet to be taken on the rescheduling of the new Club World Cup tournament which has been postponed from July 2021 due to the postponement of Euro 2020 and the Copa America.

The council also gave the green light to a new pan-Arab tournament to be played in 2021 in Qatar as a ‘test event’ for the 2022 World Cup.

The invitational competition will be contested by Arab nations from Africa and Asia and feature home-based players only.

The tournament will be held in from 1-18 December 2021 and be run by Qatar’s World Cup organising committee.