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FIFA Approves $2.1 Billion COVID-19 Relief Fund

FIFA has approved a $2.1 billion COVID-19 relief fund to support the global football community across three stages.

In the first two stages of the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan, FIFA provided for the immediate release of all Forward operational-cost payments to member associations and, subsequently, for the opportunity to transform Forward development grants into COVID-19 operational relief funds, with a minimum of 50 per cent of released funds to be allocated to women’s football.

The FIFA Council approved stage three during a videoconference to discuss important decisions for the future of football, including the selection of the FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup hosts, Australia and New Zealand.

Stage three will provide further financial support through a system of grants and loans, including a universal solidarity grant of $1.45 million to all member associations, with an additional grant of $728,000 to be allocated specifically to women’s football, and also, each confederation will receive a grant of $2.9 million.

The relief fund will also see member associations given the chance to apply for interest-free loans amounting up to 35 per cent of their audited annual revenues.

A minimum loan of $728,000 will be available, with the maximum being $7.28 million; additionally, each confederation will be given access to a loan of up to $5.82 million.

The FIFA Council confirmed that both grants and loans will be allowed to be directed by member associations to the wider football community in their respective territories, including clubs, players, leagues, or others affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, the FIFA Council has introduced strict controls on the use of funds, with audit requirements, as well as clear loan repayment conditions, with the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan steering committee established to supervise the administration of funds.