Report on Interest

FIFA plans COVID-19 charity match, global fundraising 

By NewsDesk, with Agency reports

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has disclosed that plans are underway to organise a charity football match to raise funds in support of the fight against coronavirus pandemic, saying it will bank of the passion of the beautiful leather game to pull resources together against the virus.

The world football governing body explained that the surge in the cases of coronavirus nationwide and reported fatalities with no vaccination in sight had necessitated the decision in using the power of sports to organize a charity match with aim to raise funds globally.

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said the battle against the deadly respiratory disease concerns all sectors and stakeholders, hence the initiative to organize the charity match.

Infantino, while speaking with newsmen on Monday,  maintained that the funds gathered from the charity match will be deployed to support global access to health response against the pandemic.

“It is our responsibility to demonstrate solidarity and continue to do everything we can to participate and support the efforts in the combat against the pandemic.

“We have been active in raising awareness via several other campaigns,” he said.

According to him, FIFA has also contributed financially to this cause, “but now we commit ourselves to organise this global fundraising event when the health situation permits, even if this is only in some months’ time.

“Funds raised will support the development, production and equitable global access to new coronavirus essential health technologies, including diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.”

However, further details of the match were not given.

Recall that the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has disclosed that it had, alongside FIFA recently approved a temporary rule to allow football teams use five substitutes when play resumes after the coronavirus pandemic.

It explained that the agreement was reached following the world football governing football body, FIFA’s proposal for a temporary change to the game’s rule and that such tweaking was to protect the players’ welfare when football resumes.

The sport’s law-making body which announced the temporary rule through a statement said it had accepted the new rule in putting the right measures in place having understood that when football resumes, the packed calendar and fixture congestion for teams may take it toll on the players.

It added that lost time in action and lay off occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic is also expected to have an impact on player fitness levels, thus necessitating the adjustment, adding that competitions which were using video assistant referee would be allowed to drop it for the time being.

The change will apply to competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 December of this year, although FIFA and IFAB left open the possibility that the period could be extended.

While teams will be able to make five substitutions, “to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions” as well as at half time or before extra time.

It added that though the previous limit on outfield substitutes for top-level competitions has been three in regulation time, teams will have an additional substitution opportunity in competitions that allow an additional substitution in extra time.

“The change had been made as matches may be played in a condensed period in different weather conditions, both of which could have impacts on player welfare. The decision on whether to apply this temporary amendment will remain at the discretion of each individual competition organizer. FIFA and IFAB will determine at a later stage whether this temporary amendment would need to be extended further,” the statement said.

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