FIFA will release $150 million to its member football associations to help handle financial troubles caused by the coronavirus, the global governing body said on Friday.
FIFA said that “all operational funding” for 2019 and 2020 would be distributed amongst the 211 member associations in the next few days “as the first step of a relief plan to assist the football community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Each national governing body including the Nigeria Football Federation will receive $500,000 (N180,250,000) that FIFA says would normally be delivered “upon fulfilment of specific criteria”, but will release those funds and any “remaining entitlement for 2019 and 2020”.
The funds will come as a huge relief to the NFF who have been extremely cash-strapped after major sponsor AITEO was severely hit by a crash in oil prices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that the funds were the “first step of a far-reaching financial relief plan we are developing to respond to the emergency across the whole football community”.
“It is FIFA’s duty to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs,” added Infantino. “This starts by providing immediate financial assistance to our member associations, many of which are experiencing severe financial distress.”
The funds come from the Forward 2.0 programme, which was launched in 2016 and will provide $1.746 billion in total over the 2019-2022 period.
Last month FIFA announced the creation of a football aid fund but it has since not given any additional details on its operation or scope.