The Liberia Football Association will receive a $500,000 financial package from FIFA in the coming days plus any entitlement under the FIFA development programme amid the Coronavirus outbreak, the world governing body announced on Friday.
The FA, which is one of the member associations to have been badly affected by the outbreak of the novel virus, will receive the financial support to cushion their activities.This measure will mean that a total of around USD 150 million will be distributed among the 211 national football governing bodies around the world.
“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,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “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. Together with our stakeholders, we are assessing the losses and we are working on the most appropriate and effective tools to implement the other stages of this relief plan.
Concretely, this means that FIFA will release USD 500,000 to each member association in the coming days as well as any remaining entitlement for 2019 and 2020.
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. The standard obligations and responsibilities in relation to the use of these funds as outlined in the Forward 2.0 Regulations remain fully applicable and will be subject to the standard audit and reporting process.
This financial relief plan is possible thanks to the strong financial position that FIFA has been able to consolidate over the past four years. The next stages of the plan are currently being finalized and will be communicated in due course.
“I would like to thank the chairpersons of the FIFA Development Committee, Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, and the FIFA Finance Committee, Alejandro Domínguez, for their commitment and urgent approval of these measures by their committees.”
As part of the measure, all remaining entitlements of member associations to operational costs under the Forward 2.0 Programme will be released in full for the years 2019 and 2020. In particular, the release of the second installment of operational costs for 2020, which was originally due in July, will be paid immediately.
Under normal circumstances, FIFA’s member associations would have only received the full amount of the contribution upon fulfillment of specific criteria. Instead, FIFA is now transferring this amount as an active support to help safeguard football across all member associations.
FIFA is reported to have cash reserves of around £2.2bn.