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FIFA to give members $150m of virus relief funds

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In this file photo taken on October 03, 2013 (FILES) In this file photo taken on October 3, 2013, the logo of the global football’s governing body FIFA is seen at its headquarters in Zurich. AFP

AFP – FIFA will release $150 million (139 million euros) to its member football associations to help handle financial troubles caused by the coronavirus, the global governing body said on Friday.

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.

Last month FIFA announced the creation of a football aid fund but it has since not given any additional details on its operation or scope.

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