Soccer’s international governing body says it will maintain funding for women’s soccer despite concerns about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the Women’s World Cup last year, FIFA President Gianni Infantino pledged to invest $1 billion in the women’s game over the next four years.
“In line with the FIFA Women’s Football Strategy and FIFA’s long-term vision for the development of women’s football, this funding will be invested into a range of areas in the women’s game including competitions, capacity building, development programs, governance and leadership, professionalization and technical programs,” FIFA said in a statement provided Tuesday to The Associated Press. “We can confirm that this funding has already been committed by FIFA and will not be impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis.”
The Guardian first reported that FIFA’s funding would not drop because of the coronavirus.
FIFA also said it is assessing the financial impact the pandemic is having on soccer worldwide, including the women’s game, and is exploring possible ways to provide assistance.
“The exact format and details of this assistance are currently being discussed in consultation with FIFA’s member associations, the confederations and other stakeholders,” the organization said.
FIFA has said it sees a duty to offer a lifeline from its cash reserves, last reported at more than $2.7 billion, as the economic consequences of the pandemic ripple across global soccer.
“FIFA is in a strong financial situation and it’s our duty to do the utmost to help them in their hour of need,” the organization said in a statement late last month. “FIFA is working on possibilities to provide assistance to the football community around the world after making a comprehensive assessment of the financial impact this pandemic will have on football.”