Increased FIFA fund to resolve a lot of issues?

Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) president Kazi Salahuddin is seeing a new horizon in football development after the 66th FIFA congress significantly increased financial assistance to its member countries.

As per the latest decision of world football’s governing body, each member country will get 5 million dollars over four-year circle instead of the previous amount of one million dollars.

“Definitely the FIFA financial assistance will help us a lot in implementing plans. The biggest benefit of it will be that we can now make a proper plan regarding the national team as well as make an appropriate plan for youth development,” Salahuddin said over phone yesterday afternoon after returning from Mexico.

“We knew that we would get a handsome amount as it was a commitment of the new president of FIFA. What will be the most beneficial for us is that the salary of the national team coach and the preparation of the national team will be easily covered by the FIFA fund unlike previously when we had to collect fund from different sources. Managing the fund for coaching staff was a big problem in the past,” said Salahuddin.

Out of the annual 12.5 lakh dollars, the BFF will get 5 lakh dollars as direct financial assistance, subject to meeting 10 criteria which include holding men’s and women’s championships, youth championship for girls and boys, appointment of a paid general secretary, a technical director, conducting development programme, integrity towards football, etc. All of these requirements are already met by the BFF.

As much as 2.5 lakh dollars will be used as a subsidy for the national teams’ (men’s, women’s and age-group) travels outside the country and other things related to the national teams while the remaining 5 lakh dollars will be spent on the basis of capacity building and tailor-made programmes approved by the FIFA.

“Now I can also prepare a plan to hire a foreign technical director for youth development and I will sit with FIFA’s development officer Shaji Prabhakaran tomorrow [Thursday] to discuss the issue,” Salahuddin said, adding that he was also planning to revive school tournament using this fund.

Asked whether the fund would help BFF run district football smoothly, Salahuddin said: “I have pledged more to the District Football Associations as I have promised to allocate Tk 5 lakh each to the DFAs. I also want to provide financial assistance to clubs of the First, Second and Third Division, so I need Tk 8 to 9 crore every year for this purpose. The FIFA financial assistance will not cover it. I am trying to rope in sponsors to assist the DFAs.”

BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag informed that FIFA, apart from providing yearly financial assistance, would help its member countries purchase accessories for the national team.

Shohag also informed that FIFA has also decided to provide fund to regional football associations such as South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), the amount of which could be one million dollars annually.

Source: The Daily Star

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