NFF Boss Pinnick Confirms Receipt Of $1m FIFA Covid-19 Funds, Sets Timeline For Disbursement

FIFA President Gianni Infantino speaks with Amaju Melvin Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), during the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, Mexico, May 13, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has confirmed the receipt of a total of $1 million (one million dollars) from world football-governing body, FIFA to help deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Pinnick made the revelation on Wednesday via his official Twitter account.

FIFA approved a total of $1.5 million to be distributed to all its member associations to help cushion the financial effects of the pandemic which has crippled football activities.

Pinnick said the Federation has now received a part of the funds adding that FIFA has committed to pay the balance of $500,000 ”sometime in January 2021”.

The NFF supremo stated the funds will be split in two equal halves with a part going to women’s football as per FIFA’s instructions and the other to men’s football.

He also revealed the world body sent $600,000 to the Federation for the FIFA Forward 2.0 projects in Birnin-Kebbi in Kebbi State and Ugborodo in Delta State.

Both projects cost $300,000 each, and Pinnick said the released funds “will enable the mini-stadia in both centers to start at a very good pace, as we earmark completion by the end of March 2021”.

The NFF president said they have also received confirmation that the Confederation of African Football will pay the $300,000 earmarked to provide assistance to National Associations amid the Covid-19 pandemic “on or before Sunday, the 1st of November”.

In addition to the FIFA funds, the NFF Pinnick said, already has in their account “the $200,000 we have already ring-fenced from our sponsors’ funds”.

Pinnick said on receipt of the CAF funds, “the coast will then be clear for us to start the disbursement of funds to the beneficiaries, as captured in our approved template, from next week.

This will be music to the ears of professional and amateur clubs long under huge financial strains from the suspension of all football activities as a result of the pandemic.

The funds will also help Nigeria Professional Football League clubs who are set to start a new season in November.

The restrictions were lifted recently and Pinnick made it a point to thank all beneficiaries ” for their patience and understanding at these trying times” while reiterating the Federation’s resolve ”to ensure the disbursements conform to global best practices” and calling on the beneficiaries to “ensure 100% compliance to guidelines by ensuring that all funds are paid into designated accounts”.

The Executive Committee of the NFF had approved a schedule of payments and released a breakdown of beneficiaries after consultations with the Ministry of Sports.

While the funds have been sourced in US dollars, the NFF say the disbursement will be made in naira with the exchange rate pegged at the CBN approved N386 bringing the total to seven hundred and seventy-two million naira only (772,000,000.00).

According to the breakdown released by the NFF, women football will receive only $500,000 (N193,000) and none of the sponsors’ or CAF funds while $1,500,000 (N579,000,000) will be distributed across men’s football.

The funds to be distributed will cover various professional and amateur football clubs, and governing bodies of the various leagues to aid preparations ahead of the 2020/2021 League Season which has been tentatively set for between September and October.

The LMC, has however, opted not to receive any funds to increase the pool available to the 20 NPFL clubs.

There are also provisions for the various national teams and support for professional players and coaches unions as well as referees, sportswriters and supporters clubs.

According to the breakdown released by the NFF, the Super Falcons will get $100,000 (N38,600,000) while the U17 and U20 women’s team will receive $70,000.00 (N27,020,000).

All sixteen NWFL Premiership Clubs will get $10,000 (N3,860,000) each totalling $160,000 (N61,760,000); the fourteen NWPL Championship Clubs will get $4,000 each (N1,544,000) totalling $56,000.00 (N21,616,000).

Other provisions for women’s football include support to NWFL for League Admin and Operations $30,000 (N11,580,000); Support to 12 NWFL Amateur Clubs at $1,500 each (N579,000) totalling $18,000 (N6,948,000); women’s coaching $10,000 (N3,386,000); women’s refereeing $10,000 (N3,386,000).

The Super Eagles will receive $200,000 (N77,200,000) while $125,000 (N48,250,000) has been earmarked for the youth teams and $30,000 (N11,580,000) will go to the NFF Football Foundation.

All twenty clubs of the men’s top tier Nigeria Professional Football League will get $15,000 each (N5,790,000) totalling $300,000 (N155,800,000); the 42 clubs in the Nigeria National League will each get $5,000 (N1,930,000) totalling $210,000 (N81,060,000); 306 amateur clubs in the Nationwide League will receive a total of $130,000 (N50,180,000).

There are also provisions for administration and operations for the NNL $50,000 (19,300,000); the NLO $30,000 (N11,580,000); State FAs will receive $5,000 (N1,930,000) each totalling $185,000 (N71,410,000) for all 36 states and the FCT.

Referees Association will get $20,000 (7,720,000) for operations while another $60,000 (N23,160,000) has been earmarked for referee’s development.

The Professional Players Union will get $50,000 (N19,300,000); Coaches Association $20,000 (N7,720,000); Supporters Club $25,000 (N9,650,000); Mascots $5,000 (N1,930,000); Sports Writers Association of Nigeria $30,000 (N11,580,000).