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FIFA clears air on COVID-19 money

FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura

World football body FIFA says the operational costs entitlement for member associations for 2019 would be used to pay its members, as part of efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

The statement clears the air against widespread belief that FIFA actually donated a fresh $500,000 to each member association, outside the yearly operational costs due to them.

FIFA announced on its website on Friday that it would release operational funding due to member associations for the years 2019 and 2020.

The move means that a total of around $150m will be distributed among the 211 national football governing bodies around the world.

Each national governing body, including the Nigeria Football Federation, will receive $500,000, which FIFA says will be delivered upon fulfillment of specific criteria.

According to the world football body, this immediate financial assistance will 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.

In a statement signed by FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and dated April 24, the football body stated that it was actively examining the tools and options available that could help to alleviate the financial distress in the most effective and measured way possible.

Samoura stated, “While we continue to work on the broader financial relief programme, a concrete first step, as part of this ongoing process, has been the development of a set of unique measures in the context of Forward 2.0. These measures have been proposed to provide some immediate financial support to our members while the other aspects of the relief programme are being worked on and finalised.

“Any remaining entitlement to operational costs as defined under article 6 paragraph 3 (b) of the Forward 2.0 Regulations shall be released in full for 2019 and 2020. In particular, the release of the second installment of operational costs for 2020 will be moved forward from the July payment date as specified in the Regulations.

“This funding should be used to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on football in member associations. The standard obligations and responsibilities in relation to the use of these funds as outlined in the Forward Regulations 2.0 remain fully applicable (e.g. avoidance of the use of cash, maintenance of all supporting documentation, etc.), and will be subject to the standard audit and reporting process.”

Source: PUNCH NEWS

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