Every single country in Africa has applied to Fifa to access a coronavirus relief fund, chairman of FIFA’s Covid-19 steering committee, Olli Rehn, said on Wednesday.
Rehn told a video conference that more than 150 member-associations of football’s ruling body FIFA have applied for assistance through the world governing body’s $1.5bn Covid-19 Relief Plan.
The Bureau of FIFA’s Council in late July approved the regulations of the relief plan for national associations. The Fifa fund is making $1.5bn (£1.1bn) available to its 211 member associations and six confederations.
Rehn said all money comes from FIFA funds.
On Wednesday, Fifa announced that it believes the coronavirus pandemic has cost the global football economy an estimated $14bn.
Fifa has revealed that over 150 countries have already applied for the grant scheme, meaning Africa represents around a third of the countries to have made such a request.
Each federation is also to receive a grant of $1.5m, with $500,000 to be allocated to the women’s game, by January 2021.
Each national body can also apply for interest-free loans of up to $5m 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.
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