AIFF (All India Football Federation) President Praful Patel, in a virtual meeting with representatives of all the state associations on Monday, announced a major financial relief package for them.
In the meeting, Mr. Patel revealed that the Indian FA will be sanctioning an amount of INR 3 crores within the next seven days as COVID solidarity fund for the state organisations so that they can conduct the scheduled leagues and tournaments without facing any cash crunch.
The Indian FA will individually discuss with the State FAs to understand their individual requirements. However, the Western Indian Football Association (WIFA) and the Indian Football Association (IFA) announced their decision to forego the grant.
The AIFF president also decided to waive off the CRS (Centralised Registration System) fees for all players – forgoing an amount to the tune Rs. 1.32 crores. He also said that the AIFF will be waiving of an amount of INR 34.5 lakhs which they would have received as Academy Accreditation fee for the 2020-21 season.
Addressing all the representatives of the state associations, the AIFF president said, “I understand that the Covid-19 pandemic has made life difficult for all of us, not just for football but for all issues regarding our livelihood The sport has been very badly affected worldwide, and matches are being played behind closed doors."
Additional funds will be granted to states who will come up with a comprehensive development plan along with performance-oriented incentives.
The Indian football season is set to kick off from October 8 with the I-LeagueSecond Division after a hiatus of more than six months. The Coronavirus pandemic forced all sporting activities to stop in mid-March and football was no exception.
The grant from AIFF will be a shot in the arms for the state associations and the onus will now be on them to restart footballing activities in their respective areas as and when the situation permits.