THE Namibia Football Association (NFA) is poised to benefit significantly from Fifa’s coffers over the next four years.
Overall, Namibia’s financially hamstrung football body could receive an injection of up to US$9,2 million (about N$156,4 million), over a four-year cycle which ends in 2026, through the Fifa Forward 3.0 programme which is set to be launched this month.
Fifa says up to US$5 million (N$85 million) is earmarked for each member association to cover operational costs in relation to football activities.
Another US$3 million (N$51 million) will be made available for each member association to execute well-planned, specific football projects that contribute to the achievement of long-term football development objectives.
The NFA, which remains under a Fifa Normalisation Committee, also falls in the category of “member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance”.
The criteria is that the qualifying member associations’ annual revenue, excluding funds from the forward programme as well as funds from any other Fifa initiative, do not exceed US$4 million.
For that, Fifa will allocate up to US$1,2 million (N$20,4 million) each to cover the costs of travel and accommodation for their national teams, as well as football equipment.
Fifa forward regulations state that “a member association is identified as needing the most assistance for the purpose of the contributions above”.
A significant element of the investment will support Fifa’s goal of having 60 million female players participating in football worldwide by the end of the coming cycle.
“When we launched the Forward Development Programme, Fifa embarked on a new era of global football development that is now heading into its third cycle,” said Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football.
Member associations received US$1 million per annum for running costs and up to US$2 million towards specific football project for the whole Fifa Forward 2.0 cyclem, which ran from 2019 to 2022.
“For the Fifa Forward pilot, which launched in 2016, members were entitled to US$500 000 for operational costs and a further US$750 000 to use on tailored projects annually.
“The new cycle will provide increased investment, greater impact through the achievement of football development objectives, and continued oversight to ensure all funds are used responsibly,” he said.
Furthermore, the latest cycle includes US$60 million (N$1 billion) for each confederation to develop, promote and organise football within the regions of its member associations.
Up to US$5 million is reserved for each zonal/regional association to organise regional football competitions for men, women and young people.
“We have increased this funding sevenfold, but our revenues are not increased sevenfold, just that at the new Fifa since 2016 money goes where it has to go, and that is back into football,” Infantino said.
Member associations are also set to split the Fifa Word Cup windfall garnered at the recent global spectacle in Qatar.
Fifa announced a total prize money fund of US$1 billion (N$17 billion) for the first World Cup held in the Middle East, with US$440 million to be distributed between the 32 teams at the finals, relative to how they placed.
The remaining US$660 million (N$11,2 billion) is to be distributed as solidarity payments for less developed federations, such as Namibia.