FIFA Council meets, unveils plans to aid footballing activities in the face of COVID-19

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The selection of Australia and New Zealand as hosts for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, topped the chart on decisions made today when FIFA Council convened by video conference today to discuss the future of football.

This is among the numerous decisions approved by the Council with a view to responding to the COVID-19 challenge as it affects football around the world.

The Council unanimously approved the FIFA COVID19 Relief Plan, which was designed by the FIFA administration in close cooperation with representatives of the confederations.

Across its three stages, this global support plan will make available up to USD 1.5 billion to assist the football community.

In the first two stages of the plan, FIFA provided for the immediate release of all Forward Operational Cost Payments to member associations and, subsequently, for the opportunity to transform Forward Development Grants into COVID-19 operational relief funds – with a minimum of 50% of released funds to be allocated to women’s football.

In stage three, approved by the Council today, further financial support will be provided through a system of grants and loans.

The Grants entail a universal solidarity approval of USD 1 million which will be made available to all member associations, and an additional grant of USD 500,000 to be allocated specifically to women’s football and in addition, each confederation will receive a grant of USD 2 million.

Under the loan initiative, member associations will be able to apply for interest-free loans amounting to up to 35% of their audited annual revenues. A minimum loan of USD 500,000 will be available and a maximum of USD 5 million. In addition, each confederation will have access to a loan of up to USD 4 million.

Both grants and loans can be directed by member associations to the wider football community in their respective territories, including clubs, players, leagues, or others that have been affected.

The Council also approved the establishment of a FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan steering committee to supervise the administration of the scheme, which will be chaired by Olli Rehn, the deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee and Governor of the Bank of Finland, a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and a former Vice-President of the European Commission. 

The members of the Council also approved the 2021 annual budget and the revised budget for the 2019-2022 cycle, both of which were the result of a comprehensive assessment of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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