By Uche Dozie
Sport Writer, kick442.com-Nigeria
Member associations will now be beneficiaries of the USD 1.5 billion dollars grant by FIFA as Bureau of the FIFA council accepted the COVID-19 Relief plan regulations this week.
Male, female, youth and grassroot football will benefit from the sum of USD 1 million grant, while USD 500, 000 is specifically for women’s football development.
The administrative body of the world football governing body, FIFA had drawn up a -3-phase plan with confederations to help the 211 members to surmount challenges birthed by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the first phase of the plan, the maximum amount of FIFA Forward operational‑cost entitlements to member associations was released.
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% of released funds to be allocated to women’s football.
– Grants: a universal solidarity grant of USD 1 million is being made available to all FIFA member associations, and an additional grant of USD 500,000 is being allocated specifically to women’s football. In addition, a grant of USD 2 million is being made available to each confederation. The full amount will be made available by January 2021.
– Loans: all FIFA member associations will be able to apply for interest-free loans amounting to up to 35% of their audited annual revenues. In the interest of solidarity, a minimum loan entitlement of USD 500,000 and a maximum loan entitlement of USD 5 million will be available. In addition, each confederation will have access to a loan of up to USD 4 million.
The number one man in FIFA, Gianni Infantino while thanking the council described the approval as a great achievement for solidarity at this time of the pandemic.
“This relief plan is a great example of football’s solidarity and commitment in such unprecedented times,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
“I would like to thank my colleagues of the Bureau of the Council for approving the decision to move forward with such an important initiative for the benefit of all member associations and confederations.”
The third phase is designed to help all FIFA member associations 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.
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