Infantino speaks at the 70th Fifa Congress online event. Photo: foto-net / Kurt Schorrer

LONDON: Football’s global governing body FIFA has predicted a drop of $120 million in revenue for the period 2019-2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as the Fifa Congress approved a revised budget for the four-year financial cycle on Friday.

The 70th Fifa Congress convened remotely for the first time, as all of the 211 member associations joined via videoconference on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The revised 2019-2022 revenue budget has been reduced from $6.56 billion to $6.44 billion.

Fifa said the drop of $120 million reflected the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but insisted that investment in football would continue unchanged for the full 2019-2022 cycle, with a reduction in the expense budget to compensate for lower revenues.

Meanwhile, Fifa president Gianni Infantino restated Fifa’s support for the football community during the crisis.

“We have been able to act quickly and decisively. We have prepared the Covid-19 Relief Plan for a global value of $1.5 billion. This is unprecedented,” said Infantino.

Since the approval of the Covid-19 Relief Plan in June, Fifa has received applications from over 150 member associations.

“Fifa is not facing a crisis, but football is,” said Infantino. “The money goes where it has to go: to football and to help football.”

Infantino also reiterated Fifa’s prioritisation of women’s football through the recently-launched Fifa Women’s Development Programme and investment totalling $1 billion over the current four-year cycle.

Additionally, the Fifa Congress also approved amendments relating to players switching national teams. – Bernama