FIFA on Wednesday estimated COVID-19’s cost to global football at $ 11 billion. USD lost revenue.
As a result of the pandemic, more than 150 football associations have already applied for financial assistance from the $ 1.5 billion emergency fund set up by the football governing body.
Olli Rehn, chairman of FIFA’s coronavir virus management committee, revealed for the first time the real financial impact the virus had on the game, in terms of game chaos, empty stadiums and loss of television rights.
“This is a huge number and it covers the entire football economy, including all youth academies,” Rehn, a Finnish politician and governor of the Bank of Finland, told a news conference.
“It simply came to our notice then.
“That’s why this COVID-19 aid fund is not set on time – they can apply for loans later if needed,” said Rehn, who is also the independent vice-chairman of FIFA’s steering committee.
He said that while Europe had suffered the most in absolute terms, associations outside Europe had “suffered more”.
“Especially in South America, many because of their relative capabilities and the spring to fall season,” he said.
Last month, Andrea Agnelli, president of the European Clubs Association, predicted that its member clubs would lose four billion euros in revenue in two years.
Each national association can apply to FIFA for € 1 million. USD ($ 2 million for confederations) and $ 500,000 for women’s football.
Loans are granted to national associations with a maximum value of EUR 5 million. USD (USD 4 million for confederations).
It was difficult for Rehn to emphasize that, unlike before, the money allocated to FIFA is “used for the right purposes”.
“Corruption has no place in football,” he said.
“Good governance is at the heart of this COVID-19 aid fund,” he said.
“We have made that clear to the member associations. I know that some members of the association have complained about difficult compliance procedures – I am used to that. We demand full compliance and have worked with world-renowned audit firms.
He gave some examples of how the support fund is already being used, for example in Thailand, where he has helped relaunch national league competitions, including coronavirus research, but has also introduced video assistant judges (VAR) technology.
Mexico spent a total of $ 1.5 million. USD grant to their national women’s league, and in Brazil, funds support a women’s competition testing program.
In Uruguay, this money helped the federation to re-employ the workers it was forced to lay off, which was crucial to its effective operation.
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