The All India Football Federation on Monday decided to grant COVID solidarity fund to the tune of Rs 3 crore to its state member associations. The decision was taken after a virtual meeting of the AIFF president Praful Patel with the representatives of the state associations.
"The President granted a Rs. 3 crore Covid solidarity fund to help the state associations which will be discussed individually with the state FAs to understand their individual requirements," the AIFF said in a release.
However, the Western India Football Association (WIFA) of which Patel is also the president and West Bengal football body (IFA) announced their decision to forego the grant. "The President also decided to waive of the CRS fees for all players – an amount of Rs. 1.32 crore which was to be paid to the AIFF, and also an amount of 34.5 lakhs for the Academy Accreditation fee for the 2020-21 season."
AIFF President Mr. @praful_patel grants Covid solidarity fund to State FAs 🙌
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) September 21, 2020
Patel said the pandemic has affected the sport badly all over the world with the matches being played behind closed doors. "The Indian Football season is all set to kick-off from October onwards. Despite the difficult situation we hope to move ahead with the planned calendar. But there’s always a doubt whether we would be able to conduct ourselves as planned," he said.
"A large number of states are still battling the virus, our teams cannot reassemble, and we also cannot start our camps. In a country as big as India, there are many restrictions in many states."