Additional FIFA aid to lighten M-League teams’ burden

PETALING JAYA: Football teams in the M-League can expect further relief aid from FIFA to assist the football community impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. FIFA had announced earlier that they will release all operational funding due to affiliates for the years 2019 and 2020 in a relief plan totalling US$150mil (RM650mil) to the 211 national football governing bodies around the world. Each affiliate will be getting US$500,000 (RM2.16mil) as well as any remaining entitlements.

And on top of that, FIFA will provide additional financial aids to teams in their respective six continental federations.

And this means that when the data are possessed by FIFA, teams in the M-League will be provided relief funds via the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul said they are working out the allocations with FIFA.

“The first meeting with FIFA took place last Friday and another one is coming up soon. The first meeting discussed how the distribution of funds will work and also the data collection on the leagues which are affected by Covid-19, ” said Windsor.

“FIFA will come up with a formula on how much a country will get. Then, how much a football team would get will be studied. The distribution needs to be efficient, fair and impactful.

“It wouldn’t be fair if teams who are financially strong get more compared to poorer teams. The amount also needs to be impactful to help the teams. It would be pointless if the amount is insignificant.

“The data collecting process is still ongoing and I can say we are on track to help teams including those in the M-League.”

Windsor also revealed that the draw for the AFC Under-19 Championship in Uzbekistan from Oct 14-31 will be held virtually from the AFC House in Bukit Jalil on June 18.

The draw for the competition was initially scheduled on May 5 but the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the AFC to postpone the draw.

The national Under-19 team, coached by Brad Maloney, topped Group G in their qualifying campaign to join the top 16 teams in Asia. The competition will serve as the qualifier for the 2021 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.

“The current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic leaves us with no choice but to have the draw done virtually. We can’t be having a large number of people together and there is still restriction over travelling in several countries, ” said Windsor.

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