AIFF grants COVID-19 solidarity fund to State associations

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to come in aid of its affiliates by sanctioning ₹3 crore solidarity fund to the state associations.

AIFF, which held a virtual meeting with state representatives on Monday, also decided to waive off the Central Registration System (CRS) fees of all players — an amount of ₹1.32 crore to be paid to the federation — and the academy accreditation fee of ₹34.5 lakh for the 2020-21 season.

The decision was taken as many of the state associations appealed to the parent body for assistance owing to the suspension of football activities across the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AIFF president Praful Patel accepted the plea and agreed to release the grant to help the affiliates recover from the emergent financial distress. However, the Western India Football Association (Maharashtra) and the Indian Football Association (Bengal) decided to forego the grant.

“I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for all of us — not just for football but for all issues regarding our livelihood,” the AIFF president said in the meeting.

“The football season in India is all set to kick-off from October. Despite the difficult situation we hope to move ahead with the planned calendar. But there is always a doubt whether we would be able to conduct ourselves as planned,” Patel said, referring to the I-League Qualifiers starting on Oct. 8, which will also see the resumption of football activity in the country.

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