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FAI given advance of €460,000 as Fifa help out all members amid Covid-19 shutdown

The governing body have granted an advance to all 211 of their member associations.

FAI Offices in Abbottstown.
FAI Offices in Abbottstown.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland will receive €460,000 in advance funding from global governing body Fifa amid the Covid-19 crisis. 

Fifa today announced an advance of monies owed to all 211 member associations totalling €138 million, as the economic impact of the ongoing crisis is felt at football associations across the world. 

The money is distributed under the Forward 2.0 Programme and is earmarked to cover running costs at associations, and the payment of €460,000 has been brought forward from July. 

Member associations are entitled to €5.6million from world football’s governing body for every World Cup cycle of four years.

It is an advance of money rather than bonus revenue, and thus has already been accounted for and allocated by the FAI.

“The Football Association of Ireland welcomes today’s news from Fifa that it will receive the second installment of its normal funding for designated FAI programmes two months ahead of schedule”, the FAI said in a statement.

“The Association also welcomes Fifa’s announcement that this early payment is the first step of a far-reaching financial relief plan for world football in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Fifa president Gianni Infantino confirmed the global governing body are currently preparing a broader relief package for member associations.

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“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,” said Infantino. “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. Together with our stakeholders, we are assessing the losses and we are working on the most appropriate and effective tools to implement the other stages of this relief plan.” 

Fifa are sitting on reserves of around €2.5 billion, and it is expected that they will tap into them to provide relief for associations across the world. Speaking to Newstalk yesterday morning, Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn confirmed the FAI would be seeking assistance from Fifa during the ongoing shutdown. 

“There’s also now at the moment the possibility of a contribution from Fifa.

“I think Uefa have been very good to us, I think the Government have been very good to us, so we wouldn’t refuse anything, but FIFA have expressed a public willingness to assist associations hit hard in the current pandemic.”

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Gavin Cooney

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