ZURICH: FIFA, the world football governing body, has announced that it will distribute $150 million to member associations over the next few days as the first step of a relief plan to assist the football community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each member association will receive $500,000, along with any other remaining funds they were due to receive.
FIFA, in a statement, said that the operational funding for 2020 and 2019 will be paid to 211 national governing bodies across the globe.
"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 FIFA President Gianni 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 we assessing the losses and we are working on the most appropriate and effective tools to implement the other stages of this relief plan," he added.
FIFA said that the immediate financial assistance should be used to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19 on football in member associations, namely to meet financial or operational obligations that they may have towards staff and other third parties.
The entire sporting calendar has come to a grinding halt because of the coronavirus pandemic which has so far claimed over 1.9 lakh lives across the world.