D30M FIFA aid for football development in Gambia

By IAfrica
In Gambia
Jun 16th, 2014
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The Gambia Football Association will receive a GMD30M (thirty million Dalasi) aid from FIFA as part of the world football governing body’s plans to pay out $200 million in total bonuses to its national members and confederations from its World Cup revenue of an estimated $4.5 billion.

The bonus is an equivalent of $750,000 (seven hundred thousand Dollars) and it will be given to each of the 209 member associations of FIFA. The Gambia and the other 208 associations will each get $250,000 (ten million Dalasis) this month and should get a further $500,000 (twenty million Dalasis) early next year, FIFA’s finance director Markus Kattner told the governing body’s congress in Sao Paolo, Brazil, last Wednesday.

The six continental bodies will get $2.5 million this month and $4.5 million more next year. Kattner said the bonuses must be approved by independent audit panel chairman Domenico Scala, but that there is no reason to think the extra payments won’t be made.

The planned bonuses are a $200,000 raised compared to the payments made to The Gambia and the other 208 associations after the 2010 World Cup when each FIFA member got a total of $550,000. Then, the six confederations received a total of $5 million each.

FIFA expects improved revenue of $4.5 billion for the four-year commercial cycle tied to the 2014 World Cup. It had budgeted to earn $3.8 billion. Kattner said FIFA expects to earn $5 billion in the cycle leading to the 2018 World Cup.

A total of $2.7 billion should come from broadcasting rights sales, and $2.3 billion from sponsors and licensing. FIFA has budgeted to spend $4.9 billion through 2018, with $100 million added to its reserves. FIFA’s reserve fund is currently more than $1.4 billion.

The bonuses were approved at FIFA’s 64th Congress that ended in Sao Paulo, last week after Sepp Blatter announced that there will be an increment in the disbursements to the six Confederations and the member associations.

The Gambian Football Federation was represented at the Congress by its president, Mustapha Kebbeh, his first vice president, Buba ‘Star’ Janneh and secretary general, Abbas Bah. The Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Alieu Kebba Tamba Jammeh has also travelled to Brazil but on a different note. He is expected to meet with both CAF and FIFA presidents to discuss issues surrounding Gambian football.

In its quest to develop the sport across the globe, FIFA under the leadership of Blatter has supported 668 Goal projects in 202 member associations for an overall investment of $284 million. The Gambia has already benefited from three and a fourth is in the offing with an artificial football pitch to be laid at the Soma mini-stadium in the Lower River Region.

The 78-year old official also made special mention of the Sierra Leonean Football Association President Isha Johansen at the Congress. Johansen is the only female leading a football association in the whole world. Blatter said Johansen was in a unique situation where she was pitted against 208 men.

The FIFA President also paid tribute to the first ever elected FIFA female executive member and CAF co-opted executive member, Burundi’s Lydia Nsekera. Nsekera is a former Burundi Football Association President. Africa produced the first female president of a football association when Wesley took control of Liberian Football Association in 2004.

Wesley, Nsekera and now Johansen have all created a mark in world and African football as the only three female bosses of national football associations. The next two editions of the Congress will take place in Zurich (May 28-29, 2015) and Mexico City (May 26-27, 2016).

Sepp Blatter has told delegates at the Congress that he will stand for a fifth term in office next year and despite strong opposition from UEFA for him to step down, the Swiss is the overwhelming favourite to retain his position as the most powerful voice in world football.

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