More than 150 member-associations have applied for COVID-19 relief, FIFA says

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More than 150 member-associations of football’s ruling body FIFA have applied for assistance from a 1.5-million dollars coronavirus relief fund, chairman of FIFA’s Covid-19 steering committee, Olli Rehn, said on Wednesday.

Rehn told a video conference Wednesday that “some parts of the payments have already been made to the member associations’’.

The Bureau of FIFA’s Council in late July approved the regulations of the relief plan for national associations, with Rehn saying all money comes from FIFA funds.

Each federation is also to receive a grant of 1.5 million dollars, with 500,000 dollars to be allocated to the women’s game, by January 2021.

Each national body can also apply for interest-free loans of up to five million dollars which can be used for activities including the restart of competitions and implementation of return-to-play protocols.

According to Rehn, the coronavirus pandemic has cost global football 14 billion dollars, a figure that includes associations and youth academies but not international club football.

The official, who is from Finland, added that football in South America and Africa has been hit much harder than in Europe.

Rehn also insisted that the use of the funds would be closely monitored, with some associations complaining about strict compliance rules.

“Corruption has no place in FIFA. It is therefore imperative that we ensure that the fund is used for the right purposes,” he said.