Over 400 Footballers Have Applied For Financial Aid From FIFA

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
FIFA has received 441 applications from football players - most of them based in Europe - seeking financial aid from a scheme set up by the sport’s governing body, according to a report from RTÉ Sport.
The applications were made to the FIFA Fund for Football Players (FFP), which has set aside $16 million for players who go unpaid from 2020-2022, with $3 million for the current year, as well as a $5m fund to had out to players who went unpaid between July 2015 and the end of June 2020. The aforementioned number of applications were made by players claiming unpaid wages from teams; 89 percent hail from European clubs while the other 11 percent named outfits in various parts of the world.
Players have until the end of June to apply via world players’ union FIFPRO.
In Ireland, talks are ongoing between the League of Ireland clubs and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), with several teams having voiced concerns over the FAI’s proposal as it pertains to a financial package for players.
Derry City, one of only three clubs still paying wages to players and staff, will tell the FAI the package is unfair and they would like to see their commitment to paying players full wages backed with increased funding.
Several other clubs laid off their players, some as early as mid-March, and are considered to be more in need of aid. But Derry claims they should receive more from the fund as they remained committed to paying players and staff over the last three months.
"The Derry City board are not yet convinced that the proposed distribution is equitable,” the club said in a statement. "Derry City is one of only three clubs who have kept their staff and players on full salary. That effort and commitment has not been properly recognised in the proposed distribution of financial compensation.
"Negotiations will continue this coming week and the Derry board will continue to be constructive and supportive in the difficult circumstances that have arisen because of the pandemic. Hopefully, those efforts will be properly recognised in the continuing negotiations.
"We will fully inform our supporters when negotiations have concluded."
The club’s stance proves just how difficult it has been to negotiate and how challenging it is for the Association to satisfy each club which falls under its jurisdiction.
The FAI is considering foregoing the planned four-team tournament that would have been a major step in teams’ attempts to return to the pitch this year. English clubs are set to do so this week, with the Premier League and Championship to return on June 17 and June 20, respectively.
The money saved from hosting the tournament would supplement the financial package, however, it’s not clear as to whether or not the FAI will go ahead with its plans.
"Because the Irish Government has truncated the number and timings of the easing of the lockdown, there is a likelihood that the SSE Airtricity League will restart in mid-August,” Derry’s statement continues.
"This would mean that the proposed four-team tournament between those teams participating in European competitions would not proceed."
Despite the lack of many sporting events, betting hardly slowed and it will only intensify now that leagues in England are poised to restart. German and Italian football have already been resurrected and campaigns are now well underway. In the absence of sports betting, fans could have simply checked out an online casino to rake in a bit of cash but, given that Premiership and Championship action will soon follow, it’s expected that the bookmakers will be very active.
Where it relates to financial aid, these are trying times for professional footballers, not to mention unexpected. A number of them will be free agents this summer and finding a new club could prove quite difficult if they aren’t re-signed by their current teams.