National associations of FIFA whose finances have been badly disturb due to coronavirus epidemic, FIFA is releasing around £120m ($150m) to them.
Football world governing body said that they will give each of its 211 member countries $500,000 (just over £400,000) in the coming days plus any privilege under the Forward 2.0 growth programme.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino described it as the “first step” in a wider plan to assist those struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
FIFA said the money represented operational funding for 2019 and 2020. Under normal circumstances, the associations would only receive full funding upon fulfilment of specific criteria such as the organisation of a set number of men’s, women’s and youth competitions.
The English Football Association announced earlier this month that it might lose up to £150m as result of the epidemic. It has applied wage cuts, firstly for the upcoming three months, with its top earners including England manager Gareth Southgate waive of his 30% salary.
FIFA said the next periods of its financial relief plan are being worked on and would be communicated in due course.
Tranmere chairman and former FA chief executive Mark Palios said last month that the English Football League should look to tap into the FIFA fund.
Some of EFL clubs have furloughed staff under the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme because they are facing severe financial problems because of the matchday revenue loss.
Palios said: “If FIFA has raised some kind of fund like this, then yes we would like to get our fair share of it into the EFL.
FIFA is reported of cash reserves of almost £2.2bn ($2.7bn).