FIFA’s Fund for Football Players (FFP) has received over 400 applications from athletes around the world asking for financial assistance, according to multiple media sources.
Amongst those applicants roughly 89 per cent of the players applying for FIFA’s project were with clubs in Europe.
In association with FIFPRO, FIFA’s FFP was created prior to the global health pandemic in February this year and is designed to provide financial support to players who have not been paid by clubs, under the circumstance that the team has become financially unstable and is unable to pay wages.
Since its launch, a total of 441 applications have been received with further applications expected considering players can still apply until the end of June.
FIFA had initially put $16m in the fund to last up until 2022. It is estimated that of that amount roughly $3m has been provided for players affected in 2020, moreover, an $5m will also be used to support players with accepted applications if they were affected between July 2015 up until the end of June 2020.
If a grant from the FFP is accepted, players will not be covered the full salary that they were originally owed, however, the federation will still provide enough so the players can have some financial security.
At the time of FIFA’s FFP launch, President Gianni Infantino highlighted that the agreement shows the federation’s commitment to helping players in difficult situations whilst also issuing that FIFA ‘are also here to reach out to those in need, especially within the football community’.
In addition, FIFPRO President Philippe Piat emphasised that more than 50 clubs in 20 countries have shut down in the last five years before COVID-19 struck. Since then many clubs have gone through financial hardships, with a recent example being Chinese Super League (CSL) side Tianjin Tianhai going bankrupt and subsequently folding.
Timeframes as to when the applications are asking for support have not been revealed and so it is unknown whether the impact of COVID-19 has had any effect on the figure.