FIFA will release $150 million in operational funds to help its member associations get through the coronavirus pandemic. Each team will receive $500,000 to offset a portion of the economic loss caused by the pandemic, FIFA announced Friday.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino described the payment as the first step in a “far-reaching financial relief plan.”
“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.
Member associations will receive $500,000 and “any remaining entitlement for 2019 and 2020.” FIFA intends for that money to be used to meet financial obligations or to pay staff.
Who will be helped most by FIFA’s $500,000 payment?
Giants like Real Madrid aren’t going to go under as a result of lost revenue. The biggest clubs in the sport have massive TV deals, and other ways to bring in money.
Other clubs aren’t as lucky, as our own Henry Bushnell explained.
A lot of clubs — from the Swedish Allsvenskan to the Liga MX Femenil, from the Iraqi Premier League to the Honduran Liga Nacional — make most of their money on matchdays, thanks to tickets and concession sales and the like. For the foreseeable future, they won’t have matchdays. Instead, they have grave problems.
Those are the clubs that stand to benefit most from FIFA’s payment.
Is FIFA’s $500,000 payment enough?
FIFA’s payment will undoubtedly help some clubs, though it’s fair to wonder whether FIFA is doing enough. While $150 million is a big number, it’s only a small percent of the $2.7 billion FIFA has in reserves. Given that FIFA’s reserves shouldn’t be impacted unless the 2022 World Cup is in danger of being canceled, the organization can afford to dip into those funds multiple times before it becomes an issue.
Infantino did say the $500,000 payment was the “first step,” so perhaps FIFA will allocate more of its reserves before the coronavirus pandemic is over.
More from Yahoo Sports: