FIFA millions breathe life into Southern African soccer

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Gaborone - Several football associations across Southern Africa have started receiving relief funds from world soccer governing body FIFA to cushion clubs and players from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FIFA recently approved grants and loans totaling US$1,5 billion to help the world’s most popular sport navigate through a pandemic that has cost the game billions in revenue.

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) this week confirmed that it had received US$500,000 from FIFA.

“We have since received the first Solidarity Grant instalment of USD500,000. Following the BFA COVID-19 relief task team recommendations to the National Executive Committee, the NEC approved the funding…” the association said in a statement.

BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the Botswana Premier League, The First Division and regional leagues would get something out of the grant.

“We will advise our members on the modalities and specifics regarding the disbursement of the money,” he said.

He urged clubs to use the money efficiently in clearing and paying salary arrears.

Each premier league will receive P121,093.75 while First Division sides will get P22,500 each.

Referees and coaches are among beneficiaries.

Mpatane said an audit would be conducted after disbursements to ensure funds were not misappropriated.

South Africa Football Association Safa’s chief financial officer Gronie Hluyo has confirmed receipt of US$1 million from FIFA; while Zambia has taken receipt of a US$500,000 tranche with a similar additional sum die early next year.

The Zimbabwe Football Association has received US$1,8 million from FIFA.

 

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