The FIFA Council convened a video conference on Thursday and made important decisions for the future of football, chief of which was the selection of Australia and New Zealand as hosts of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
The Council approved several measures with a view to responding to Covid-19 and helping football around the world in the face of the pandemic and its aftermath, namely:
FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan
The Council unanimously approved the FIFA COVID‑19 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:
Grants: a universal solidarity grant of USD 1 million will be made available to all member associations, and an additional grant of USD 500,000 will be allocated specifically to women’s football. In addition, each confederation will receive a grant of USD 2 million.
Loans: member associations will be able to apply for interest-free loans amounting to up to 35% of their audited annual revenues. In the interest of solidarity, 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.
Governance model: to ensure effective oversight of the plan, there will be strict controls on the use of funds, audit requirements, as well as clear loan repayment conditions. A FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan steering committee will also be established to supervise the administration of the scheme.
Olli Rehn, the deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee, has been appointed to lead this committee. He is also the 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.
As a next step, the principles of the plan will be consolidated in a set of regulations to be put forward to the Bureau of the FIFA Council.
The members of the Council 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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