July 30 – The FIFA Bureau – the top table of the world governing body comprised of the confederation and FIFA presidents – has greenlighted the release of $1.5 billion for its coronavirus relief fund from FIFA’s reserves.
Last month, the world federation announced a Covid-19 relief fund of $1.5 billion that will be available to its member associations through a system of grants and loans. “It is only possible thanks to the very, very healthy position of FIFA,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
The fund came on top of FIFA’s announcement in April that it would distribute $150 million in operational funding.
All 211 member associations will be given a universal solidarity grant of $1 million, with an additional $500,000 grant specifically for women’s football. Each confederation will also receive a grant of $2 million.
In terms of loans, member associations will be able to apply for interest-free loans of up to 35% of their audited annual revenues. Loans will be between $500,000 and $5 million. Each confederation will also be able to access a loan of up to $4 million.
In 2019, FIFA’s cash reserves soared to a record $2.75 billion and revenue climbed to $6.4 billion in the four-year period covering the 2018 World Cup. The financial results underlined FIFA’s robustness, not only weathering the deepest crisis in its history with the FIFAGate corruption scandal in 2015, but even improving the balance sheet. At the end of the 2014 World Cup, FIFA’s reserves stood at $1.5 billion after generating $5.7 billion through the tournament in Brazil.
It has allowed FIFA to act on its promise that it has a duty to help out football during the coronavirus pandemic. As a consequence of the relief fund’s launch, the governing body’s reserves will plunge to about $1.6 billion, still a healthy financial position for a not-for-profit organization. Previously, FIFA’s Finance Committee and the organisation’s Council set the minimum level of reserves at $1.5 billion.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600528285labto1600528285ofdlr1600528285owedi1600528285sni@o1600528285fni1600528285