FAM will get $500 000 (about K372.5 million) from Fifa within the next few days, as part of the world football governing body’s initiative to help the global football community paralysed by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a statement released on Friday, Fifa states that it will release all operational funding due to member associations for the years 2019 and 2020 in the coming days as the first step of a relief plan to assist the football community impacted by the pandemic.
“This measure will mean that a total of around $150 million will be distributed among the 211 national football governing bodies around the world,” reads part of the statement.
The statement further states that all remaining entitlements of member associations to operational costs under the Forward 2.0 Programme will be released in full for the years 2019 and 2020.
It reads: “In particular, the release of the second instalment of operational costs for 2020, which was originally due in July, will be paid immediately. Under normal circumstances, Fifa’s member associations would have only received the full amount of the contribution upon fulfilment of specific criteria.
“Instead, Fifa is now transferring this amount as an active support to help safeguard football across all member associations.
“Concretely, this means that Fifa will release $500 000 to each member association in the coming days as well as any remaining entitlement for 2019 and 2020.
“This immediate financial assistance should be used to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19 on football in member associations, namely to meet financial or operational obligations that they may have towards staff and other third parties.”
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu, who is also a Fifa Council member, yesterday said the $500 000 is not part of Fifa’s Emergency Relief Fund.
He said: “Just to clarify that the $500 000 is part of the $1 million we get from Fifa every year.
“Fifa is still working on the Emergency Relief Fund as a bailout plan for Covid-19 and it will be announced at an appropriate time.
“This means that Fifa will release in advance full funding to all member associations for second half amounting to $500 000 without any conditions or strings attached.”
The FAM boss said the money was already budgeted for operational activities for July to December 2020 “and we were expecting to receive it in July. The only difference is that it will come early and we are guaranteed of the $500 000”.
Nyamilandu said in light of the pandemic, Fifa has relaxed the rules of accessing the funds so that member associations can cope with the current situation and easily meet their financial obligations.
“We have been working behind the scenes on how FAM can respond to the coronavirus pandemic through a task force that was set up by the executive committee,” he said.
The task torce comprises Chimango Munthali as chairperson, Felister Dossi, Mada Kuyera and FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda
“The executive committee will be holding a virtual meeting on Monday to review the task force report which is geared at assessing the Impact of Covid-19 pandemic on Football and proposing how we can intervene and respond to the current situation.”
Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, backed his organisation’s decision by saying the pandemic continues to cause havoc across the world.
“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.
“This starts by providing immediate financial assistance to our member associations, many of which are experiencing severe financial distress.
“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,” said Infantino in a statement.
At national level, some football associations have also taken the initiative to pump funds into coffers of their clubs to stabilise them during these challenging times.
The Sierra Leone Football Association, for instance, distributed $70 000 to their Premier League, Division One and Two clubs are part of a solidarity funding.