$14bn lost to Coronavirus, FIFA says


By Elijah Odetokun

World football governing body, FIFA through its coronavirus steering committee released the real financial impact of Covid-19 on football globally and was estimated at $14 billion.

FIFA coronavirus steering committee chairman, Olli Rehn, a Finnish politician, Bank of Finland governor and independent deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee made this known in a press conference on Wednesday.

“It’s a huge number and it covers the football economy in its entirety, including all youth academies.

This will impact next year as well, there is a carry over. That is why this Covid-19 relief fund is not time-bound – they may request loans later on if they need to.” Rehn said.

The losses came through fixture list chaos, empty stadiums and loss of TV rights revenue. Europe was hit hardest in terms of absolute cost but associations outside Europe suffered more.

All of Africa’s 54 member associations have applied for the grant while the Confederation of African Football (CAF) did not apply as a confederation, according to BBC Sports Africa.

Each national association can request a FIFA grant of $1million ($2mn for confederations) plus $500,000 for women’s football. Loans are available to national associations up to a maximum value of $5mn ($4mn for confederations).

Rehn stressed that unlike in the past it was important the money made available by FIFA “is being used for the right purposes.”

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“This is at the heart of this Covid relief fund. We do request and require full compliance with the best auditing standards. Corruption has no room in football.” the 58year old said.

Two audits will be carried out on all funds devoted to countries, one conducted by a federation itself while the other will be carried out by a FIFA-approved auditor.

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