LFA to Receive US$1.5M from FIFA COVID-19 Relief Fund

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LFA president Raji (right) at his first CAF Extraordinary Assembly with FIFA president Infantino.

The Liberia Football Association (LFA) is set to receive US$1 million from football world governing body, FIFA’s US$1.5 billion being made available to assist the football community.

FIFA, through its Executive Council on June 25, unanimously approved the FIFA COVID‑19 Relief Plan, which was designed by the FIFA administration in close cooperation with representatives of the confederations.

Aside from the US$1 million, LFA will receive an additional grant of US$500,000 specifically for women’s football.

Additionally, LFA, like other member associations, will be eligible to apply for interest-free loans amounting to up to 35 percent 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, FIFA said in a statement.

In the first two stages of the plan, FIFA provided for the immediate release of all Forward operational‑cost payments to member associations. It may be recalled that in April of this year, the football world governing body released all operational funding due to member associations for the years 2019 and 2020 to assist the football community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of around US$ 150 million was distributed among the 211 national football governing bodies around the world. LFA received US$1 million (US$500,000 that was due in July and US$500,000 that was due in 2019, Liberia did not meet the criteria) of the total amount.

FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan

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

Grants: a universal solidarity grant of $1 million will be made available to all member associations, and an additional grant of $500,000 will be allocated specifically to women’s football. In addition, each confederation will receive a grant of $2 million.

Loans: member associations will be able to apply for interest-free loans amounting to up to 35 percent of their audited annual revenues. In the interest of solidarity, a minimum loan of $500,000 will be available and a maximum of $5 million. In addition, each confederation will have access to a loan of up to $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 control 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.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

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