Cairo, Egypt | THE INDEPENDENT | Africa soccer governing body CAF will distribute $200,000 to each of its members to support the management of football at the domestic levels hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At its meeting on Thursday via video-conference, the CAF Emergency Committee has approved the immediate distribution of financial grants to Member Associations (MA). A total of $10.8 Million will be transferred to the 54 MA’s on the continent as part of a relief plan to ease the financial burden on the African football community during these unprecedented times.
“Due to the fast-spread of COVID-19, African MA’s have suspended all domestic competitions, which has brought about huge financial burdens on their shoulders. CAF has thus decided to wave the eligibility requirements to access the annual grants, so all MA’s can benefit during this difficult period,” said CAF President Ahmad Ahmad.
Also, CAF is assessing the opportunity of additional financial support to MA’s for the resumption and organisation of their domestic competitions.
Two weeks ago, CAF announced the distribution of USD 3.5 Million to the participants of the Interclub competitions for the 2019/20 season. The two club competitions, Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup, were suspended after the quarter-final matches due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, CAF is monitoring the situation closely and working with the relevant authorities including the Wealth Health Organization (WHO), FIFA amongst others on the impact of the virus on the continent, and will announce developments to our competitions at the appropriate time.
Last month, FIFA agreed to release $500,000 (Ush 2billion) to each national football governing body to help handle financial troubles caused by the coronavirus.
FIFA will release a total $150 million (139 million euros) to its member football associations.
FIFA said that “all operational funding” for 2019 and 2020 would be distributed amongst the 211 member associations in the next few days “as the first step of a relief plan to assist the football community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Each national governing body will receive $500,000, that FIFA says would normally be delivered “upon fulfullment of specific criteria”, but will release those funds and any “remaining entitlement for 2019 and 2020”.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that the funds were the “first step of a far-reaching financial relief plan we are developing to respond to the emergency across the whole football community”.
“It is FIFA’s duty to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs,” added Infantino. “This starts by providing immediate financial assistance to our member associations, many of which are experiencing severe financial distress.”
The funds come from the Forward 2.0 programme, which was launched in 2016 and will provide $1.746 billion (around 1.6 billion euros) in total over the 2019-2022 period.
In March, FIFA announced the creation of a football aid fund but it has since not given any additional details on its operation or scope.