By Samindra Kunti
January 29 – FIFA and the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) have confirmed the release of the money for $100 million 2014 World Cup legacy fund. The world governing body had up to now repeatedly refused to release the money over compliance concerns.
The fund was set up “to benefit people and communities from across all 27 states, including 15 cities that did not host matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup” in Brazil, according to a press release. FIFA paid $9 million in legacy projects in 2014 and 2015, but since the election of Gianni Infantino to the FIFA presidency the money had been withheld.
FIFA eventually voiced concerns over the CBF presidency of Marco Polo Del Nero and wanted the CBF to pass reforms, clarify the situation over its president and allow for independent audits of its finances. Del Nero was under investigation from Brazilian authorities, but this year he will be succeeded by Rogério Caboclo. In 2018 Caboclo was elected unopposed as the new supremo of Brazilian football – critics are concerned that he is still from Brazilan football’s old guard.
On its website FIFA wrote: “As part of the contract, an initial payment of USD 25 million will ensure the roll-out of the proposed projects in 2019.” The release will follow what the governing body called the submission of “a comprehensive business plan by the CBF” which was approved by FIFA last November. A new contract between FIFA and the CBF rolls out “a comprehensive and strict set of monitoring, reporting and compliance measures.”
A further six payments have been scheduled until July 2022 and the CBF will be required to have an independent auditor monitor the usage of the legacy fund, which will later be validated by FIFA.
“FIFA is happy to have agreed an enhanced structure and programme, which not only fulfils the commitments made to Brazil for hosting a spectacular 2014 FIFA World Cup but also aims to make a very real and lasting impact on the lives of many people and communities across the country,” said FIFA deputy secretary general Zvonimir Boban.
In theory, the CBF, presiding over the Brazilian domestic league and the Brazilian national team, doesn’t need FIFA’s funding and development aid as much as other, smaller FAs might, and both the CBF and CONMEBOL, the continent’s governing body, have been very slow in proposing reforms, a demand FIFA made multiple times in the past.
“Our initial priorities are the construction of training centres in states that did not host World Cup matches, grassroots and women’s football, as well as projects in the areas of sports medicine and social responsibility,” said CBF’s president elect Caboclo.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1560757124labto1560757124ofdlr1560757124owedi1560757124sni@o1560757124fni1560757124