FFIRI not able to receive FIFA financial support due to sanctions

April 26, 2020 - 18:15

TEHRAN - The Iranian football federation is trying to find a solution for receiving the financial assistance from FIFA due to sanctions against the country’s banking system.

The international governing body of football will release all operational funding due to member associations for the years 2019 and 2020 in the coming days as the first step of a relief plan to assist the football community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure will mean that a total of around USD 150 million will be distributed among the 211 national football governing bodies around the world.

However, the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) has serious problems with regard to receiving financial assistance from FIFA.

The Iranian football federation is in an economic crisis for various reasons, and the coronavirus pandemic has worsened the situation and reduced the revenues of the federation.

In this circumstance, FIFA’s financial aid to member associations, including Iran, could be a turning point, to some extent, to sort out the situation. Under normal circumstances, FIFA’s member associations would have only received the full amount of the contribution upon fulfillment of specific criteria. Instead, FIFA is now transferring this amount as an active support to help safeguard football across all member associations.

Concretely, this means that FIFA will release USD 500,000 to each member association in the coming days as well as any remaining entitlement for 2019 and 2020.

There are still ambiguities how the Iranian Football Federation will be able to receive financial assistance by FIFA, as the broad U.S. restrictions on Iran's banking system still remain and it is not yet clear whether Swiss banks will facilitate the process of the transferring money to the Iranian banks.

Ali Soleimani, the Treasurer of FFIRI, said the sanctions against Iran are in place, and “FIFA has not yet found a safe solution to pay the revenues of Iranian football and I think the problem with this financial assistance remains the same.”

“Many efforts have been made in this regard, but we have not reached a suitable solution.” Soleimani Said.

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