Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has applauded FIFA for committing to release US$500,000 (K368 million) three months early as it will assist the FA which has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
FIFA announced on Friday that it will release all operational funding due to member associations, including FAM, for the years 2019 and 2020 in the coming days as the first step of a relief plan to assist the football community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The development means FAM will receive USD500,000 which is the second installment of the operational costs under the FIFA Forward 2.0 Programme.
This funding was originally due to FAM in July and is part of the USD 1,000,000 FAM receives every year for operations. FAM already accessed the first installment in January.
FAM President Walter Nyamilandu welcomed the development saying it will help the Association mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
“We have indeed received this good news from FIFA .This will help us alot as we are unable to generate funds from other revenue streams with football suspended due to the pandemic.
“This means that FIFA will release in advance full funding to FAM for the second half amounting to USD500,000 without any conditions or strings attached as is required by the FIFA Forward regulations.
“This money was already budgeted for operational activities for July to Dec 2020 and we were expecting to receive it in July. The only difference is that it will come early and we are guaranteed of the USD 500,000 with the flexing of the regulatory conditions for access.
“In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, FIFA has relaxed the rules of accessing the funds so that MAs can cope with the current situation and easily meet their financial obligations.
“As directed by FIFA, we will ensure that the standard obligations and responsibilities in relation to the use of these funds as outlined in the Forward 2.0 Regulations are fully applicable and will be subject to the standard audit and reporting process,” said Nyamilandu.
He added that FAM has been working behind the scenes on how it can respond to the Coronavirus pandemic through a Task Force that was set up by the Executive Committee.
“The Task Force comprises of FAM Executive Committee members Chimango Munthali, as Chairman, Felister Dossi, Madalitso Kuyera and General Secretary Alfred Gunda.
” The four have been working tirelessly over the past three weeks engaging stakeholders on how the pandemic has affected the local game.
“The Executive Committee will be holding a virtual meeting on Monday to review the Task Force Report which is geared at assessing the Impact of COVID 19 pandemic on Football and proposing how we can intervene and respond to the current situation,” he said.
FIFA is still working on the Emergency Relief Fund as a bail out plan for COVID 19 and it will be announced at an appropriate time after thoroughly scrutinizing the statuses of the MAs through the consultations that FIFA is doing with the members.