FAI set for immediate €463k funding boost as Fifa release €140m in support

Money due in July will be paid early as associations struggle due to Covid-19 pandemic

Fifa have again hinted that they will be providing substantial support to member associations over the coming months as they announced on Friday that they have brought forward the remaining portion of its regular grants for this year.

The federation announced that all funding due to national associations for 2019 and ’20, a total of almost €140 million, will be paid immediately. The money includes payments to some associations held over from last year due to issues with programmes or related paperwork, as well as the $500,000 (€463,000) due to have been paid to each of its 211 member associations in July, which constitutes the second half of the $1 million grant paid annually to each local organisation.

Bringing the payment forward was billed in its announcement as a gesture of support to the associations at a time when many are struggling with the effects of the Covid-19 crisis but it seems that there is no new money involved at this stage.

In making the announcement, however, Fifa president Gianni Infantino has promised that help is on the way.


“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,” he said. “This starts by providing immediate financial assistance to our member associations, many of which are experiencing severe financial distress.

“This [the early payment scheme just announced] 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 assessing the losses and we are working on the most appropriate and effective tools to implement the other stages of this relief plan.”

There has been absolutely no indication given publicly of how much support might be provided but in a report published last year, Fifa declared that it had cash reserves of just over €2.5 billion and so the federation could give every association €5 million and still retain more than half of its funds.

It has been in touch with national associations in recent weeks and the FAI is one of many to have made a case for backing, with the association believed to have outlined how much it estimates it will cost to get the Airtricity League going again behind closed doors and suggested that Fifa might provide help with this.

"There's also now at the moment the possibility of a contribution from Fifa," said Niall Quinn in a radio interview on the subject this week. "I think Uefa have been very good to us, I think the Government have been very good to us, so we wouldn't refuse anything, but Fifa have expressed a public willingness to assist associations hit hard in the current pandemic.

“We are looking at that as well as trying to put that together with a potential streaming revenue and say to clubs – this is what it all adds up to and it’s up to you now at this point where you want to go.”