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FIFA to advance Sh53m relief to member FAs

FIFA have postponed the first 24-team Club World Cup after Euro 2020 and the Copa America were both put back by a year

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – Kenyan footballers might breathe a sigh of relief in the next coming days after world football governing body FIFA said it will advance a sum of Sh53mn (USD500,000) to each member association to help cushion them financially from of the adverse effects of the coronavirus.

FIFA in a statement on Friday afternoon said they will be advancing all payments due to each Association as up to the end of 2020 as well as the Sh53mn relief.

“Under normal circumstances, FIFA’s member associations would have only received the full amount of the contribution upon fulfillment of specific criteria. Instead, FIFA is now transferring this amount as an active support to help safeguard football across all member associations,” a statement from FIFA read.

It adds; “Concretely, this means that FIFA will release USD 500,000 (Sh53mn) to each member association in the coming days as well as any remaining entitlement for 2019 and 2020.”

The release of the second instalment of operational costs for 2020, which was originally due in July, will be paid immediately.

This means that a total of around Sh16.1bn (USD 150mn) will be distributed among the 211 national football governing bodies around the world.

Over a spread of four years, each member association is due Sh642mn (USD6mn) which means yearly, each Association is set to earn at least Sh160mn per year.

Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa had earlier said that they are engaging all relevant stakeholders including FIFA and the government to find ways to cushion players who have been hugely affected because of the shutdowns occasioned by the virus.

“There is no way that these sportsmen are earning much at the moment because many clubs were relying on gate collections to help them pay off a few bills and players also hugely relied on the match day allowances to keep them going.

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“We are talking to the government, our sponsors and also FIFA to see how we can help cushion our players,” Mwendwa said while speaking to NTV Sasa.

Meanwhile, FIFA says it will continue offering support to its members at this time when income from football has been totally frozen.

“The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for the entire football community and, as the world governing body, it is FIFA’s duty to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“This is the first step of a far-reaching financial relief plan we are developing to respond to the emergency across the whole football community. Together with our stakeholders, we are we assessing the losses and we are working on the most appropriate and effective tools to implement the other stages of this relief plan,” he added.

Meanwhile, FIFA says that it will still strictly monitor the audited accounts to ensure that the relief is put to its intended use as outlined in the Forward 2.0 Regulations.

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