World Football Governing body, FIFA will release operational funds for 2019 and 2020, amounting to $150 million (about N60 billion); to Nigeria and other member-associations, the global football body said on Friday. The funds will go towards cushioning the effects of COVID-19 on national football leagues around the world.
Indeed, the world football ruling body said this would be the first step of a relief plan; to help negate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria as well as an additional 210 member-associations would receive $500,000 each (about N200 million) in the coming days; as well as any remaining entitlements for 2019 and 2020, it added.
Equally important, the COVID-19 outbreak has brought football to a standstill. Consequently, clubs have struggled to cope with the loss of revenue.
“The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for the entire football community and, as the world governing body; it is FIFA’s duty to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs. This starts by providing immediate financial assistance to our member-associations, many of which are experiencing severe financial distress.
“This is the first step of a far-reaching financial relief plan we are developing; to respond to the emergency across the whole football community,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.
FIFA said it would immediately release the second instalment of operational costs for 2020, originally due in July. Under normal circumstances, member-associations would have only received the second instalment of operational costs for 2020 in full; upon fulfilment of specific criteria.
“This immediate financial assistance should 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,” FIFA said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has racked up 981 cases of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, according to the latest updates released on Thursday night.