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TTFA earns 100% of FIFA Forward

March 19 – Saudi Arabia may be appearing to play an increasingly prominent role in football business and politics in the Gianni Infantino era. But the Kingdom seems to be ignoring the FIFA President’s offer of largesse via the beefed-up FIFA Forward programme. The Saudi FA is one of four member associations listed in the […]

March 19 – Saudi Arabia may be appearing to play an increasingly prominent role in football business and politics in the Gianni Infantino era. But the Kingdom seems to be ignoring the FIFA President’s offer of largesse via the beefed-up FIFA Forward programme.

The Saudi FA is one of four member associations listed in the new FIFA financial report as having received 0% of their development-funding entitlements under the new programme which was launched in 2016.

The other three associations in the same boat are war-torn Yemen and Syria, and Nigeria, which narrowly avoided being thrown out of international football before Amaju Pinnick’s landslide victory in a presidential election last September.

The entitlements of both Syria and Yemen are set at $4.445 million, with Nigeria and Saudi Arabia theoretically able to apply for $3.9 million and $3.851 million respectively.

Of the $1.079 billion of funding earmarked for FIFA Forward over the cycle, more than $872 million was accessible to national associations for projects, operational expenses and travel and equipment costs. By end-2018, only $523 million of this member-association allocation had actually been released.

Not surprisingly, with controls on how money is spent said to be stricter than under previous FIFA development schemes, the percentage of funds destined for tailor-made projects that had been released by the end of the cycle was markedly lower than for the other two categories.

At the opposite end of the scale to this quartet, a further four member associations had had every cent of their Forward entitlement released: Afghanistan, France, Syria’s neighbour Jordan and Trinidad and Tobago.

Azerbaijan, England, Finland and Ireland had reached 99%, with Romania, Tahiti and Macau at 98%.

A full list of the 20 or so associations who had had the lowest proportion of their entitlements released is as follows:

0% – Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen.

6% – Morocco, North Korea.

10% – Libya.

14% – Sudan.

15% – Qatar.

17% – Angola, Guatemala.

18% – Timor Leste.

23% – Guinea.

24% – Cayman Islands.

27% – Guinea-Bissau.

29% – South Sudan.

30% – Kuwait, Tanzania.

34% – Congo DR, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Zambia.

FIFA has served notice that over the current cycle, running up to the 2022 World Cup, football development spending will be increased to $1.75 billion.

Development was a key plank of Infantino’s 2016 election platform. According to the manifesto: “As a benchmark, and after all necessary adjustments, I believe that FIFA should easily be able to ear-mark at least 50% of its income for direct distribution to its member associations for football development projects.”


Source:  David Owen – http://www.insideworldfootball.com

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