Cambodian football has something to thank for despite the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is after the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) announced that it will extend financial assistance in the form of a $1.5 million grant to each of the national football federations in 211 countries around the world, including Cambodia.
The announcement was made this week during a virtual meeting between FIFA President Gianni Infantino and senior officials of national football federations in Southeast Asia.
As the governing body for football in the Kingdom, the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) will be the recipient of the grant.
The funding assistance is expected to help Cambodian football recover going forward. The money will also help finance Cambodia’s participation in many football tournaments abroad.
Just like their counterparts in other countries, Cambodian football was disrupted and encountered financial difficulties. Revenues have gone down with football tournaments and games suspended for a long period of time in a bid to stem the spread of the deadly virus.
The Metfone Cambodian League, Hun Sen Cup and other football leagues suspended their games in March and only resumed early this month.
Cambodia’s participation in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Asian Football Confederation Cup 2020 and other international competitions were likewise affected by the pandemic.
The grant is part of the COVID-19 relief plan that the global governing body for football approved last month. The plan will make available $1.5 billion to assist the football community worldwide.
The plan mandates that a universal solidarity grant of $1 million be made available to all member associations, with an additional $500,000 allocated specifically for the promotion and development of women’s football.
Under the plan, member associations would also be able to apply for interest-free loans amounting to up to 35 percent of their audited annual revenues. In the interest of solidarity, a minimum loan of $500,000 will be available and a maximum of $5 million, according to FIFA.
“To ensure effective oversight of the plan, there will be strict controls on the use of funds, audit requirements, as well as clear loan repayment conditions. A FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan steering committee will also be established to supervise the administration of the scheme,” FIFA said.