The World Football body FIFA is to grant a relief donation of USD 1.5 million each made available to 211 member associates, including Sri Lanka and the six confederations, to assist in the alleviation of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was originally drawn up by the FIFA administration in close cooperation with the confederations and subsequently was approved by the FIFA Council at a meeting held last June.
With a massive grant of USD 1.5 billion budgeted to distribute among the Football community, including the men’s and women’s professional, youth, and grassroot football through a system of combined grants and loans under strict compliance. Each member association is to be benefited with a USD one million to revamp the game in their respective countries while protecting the world’s most popular game. In addition to this grant, they have also decided to pump in an additional USD 500, which is specified for utilisation for women’s football as the third phase grant.
For the second phase, member associations have now been given the ability to transform remaining FIFA Forward development project grants into COVID-19 operational relief funds – with a minimum of 50 percent of released funds to be allocated to women’s football. As per the FIFA the regulations, strict compliance and audit requirements are to be established as well as clear loan repayment conditions, under the supervision of a steering committee.
All FIFA member associations will be able to use the funds for activities such as the restart of competitions, the implementation of return-to-play protocols, the participation of national teams in competitions, the hiring and re-hiring of staff, the maintenance of football infrastructure, and general administration and operating costs. In the coming months, FIFA will work closely with its member associations, and confederations to assist them in the implementation of the plan through educational content and additional guidelines. This was revealed in a FIFA media release.