Wednesday, November 30


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The Gambia Football Federation, GFF, announced yesterday that it will call an annual general meeting of its members to decide and approve how the USD 1.5million dalasi coming from Fifa will be used. Fifa announced each member association will get the fund as relief for the Covid-19 pandemic on football in its member nations.

The money is categorised as follows: Grants: a universal solidarity grant of USD 1 million will be made available to all member associations, and an additional grant of USD 500,000 will be allocated specifically to women’s football.

The first installment of USD 500,000 will come in July 2020 and the otherUSD 500,000in January 2021. The USD 500,000 meant for women’s football will be released in July 2020.
By today’s exchange rate this would amount to a little over D75million dalasis of extra funds. Already the GFF alongside others have received its normal operations cost of D25 million also fastracked and unconditionally released because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gambian football stakeholders are already fired up as to how the money would be spent.
The Standard which carried out an extensive sampling of opinion came to the following conclusions:”The Gambian clubs, allied associations and regional football associations generally want the following proposal: Each club in the First and second divisions should get D1million, each regional football association D1million, each female league club D1million and each allied association D1miilion. The Sports Journalists’ Association of Gambia should also be considered for a D1million grant.
According to The Standard’s findings this will leave the GFF with well over ten million dalasi or more that it can apply to its projects where necessary.

Full details of the Fifa Covid-19 relief funds is provided below:
The FIFA Council convened by video conference Thursday unanimously approved the FIFA COVID 19 Relief Plan, which was designed by the FIFA administration in close cooperation with representatives of the confederations. Across its three stages, this global support plan will make available up to USD 1.5 billion to assist the football community.
In the first two stages of the plan, FIFA provided for the immediate release of all Forward operational-cost payments to member associations and, subsequently, for the opportunity to transform Forward development grants into COVID-19 operational relief funds – with a minimum of 50% of released funds to be allocated to women’s football .
In stage three, approved by the Council Thursday, further financial support will be provided through a system of grants and loans:

Grants: a universal solidarity grant of USD 1 million will be made available to all member associations, and an additional grant of USD 500,000 will be allocated specifically to women’s football.
In addition, each confederation will receive a grant of USD 2 million.

Loans: member associations will be able to apply for interest-free loans amounting to up to 35% of their audited annual revenues. In the interest of solidarity, a minimum loan of USD 500,000 will be available and a maximum of USD 5 million. In addition, each confederation will have access to a loan of up to USD 4 million.
Both grants and loans can be directed by member associations to the wider football community in their respective territories, including clubs, players, leagues, or others that have been affected.

Governance model: to ensure effective oversight of the plan, there will be strict controls on the use of funds, audit requirements, as well as clear loan repayment conditions. A FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan steering committee will also be established to supervise the administration of the scheme.

Olli Rehn, the deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee, has been appointed to lead this committee. He is also the Governor of the Bank of Finland, a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and a former Vice-President of the European Commission.

As a next step, the principles of the plan will be consolidated in a set of regulations to be put forward to the Bureau of the FIFA Council.