KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The recently announced financial and material assistance by the world football governing body, the FIFA, is causing a stir of optimism in the corridors of the Sudanese Football Association (SFA), with its executives upbeat about the aid and its consequences on the future of the game.
“We are affluent this year,” announced SFA executive Naseddin Hemaidti, in reference to part of the FIFA funding that settled down in the SFA coffers in January.
Engineer Hemaidti, who chairs the SFA Financial Committee, said the FIFA has endorsed $ 2 million for a sports lounge the SFA intends to build within the Sudan Sports City, now under construction South of Khartoum. The lounge will be constructed by a contractor tipped for by the FIFA in keeping with proposed specifications, he said.
Mazin Abu Sin, SFA advisor responsible for promotion affairs, said the proposal submitted to the FIFA for funding also includes upgrading the players and referees, raising public awareness, improving the country’s football playgrounds, enhancing the SFA administrative and financial systems, in addition to the boosting of the SFA social responsibility programs.
Abusin said the FIFA had previously pledged a total sum of $11,345,000 for Sudan for the period 2016-2021. The sum includes a $7 million for the years 2019-2021. The rest of the overall sum is funding withheld by the FIFA upon differences with the SFA previous executive committee. The FIFA has now decided to release the sum.
Abusin said they were in contact with the FIFA concerning the premier league, the national teams, and the youth and women contests’ promotion programs.
For his part, Hemaidti has explained that the FIFA assistance to Sudan for the current season amounts to $1.5 million, half a million of which has already been received by SFA. The rest of the sum will be received later on, he said.
Hemaidti said the FIFA has also approved the allocation of seven travel buses to traffic premier league teams for matches around the vast country. According to him, the SFA has decided to give the premier league’s 16 clubs 150,000 Sudanese pounds each to meet their running expenses.
“The SFA has now bypassed the stage of fetching money to the stage of how to spend it on its projects,” said Hemaidti.
He paid special tribute to the SFA Chairman, Professor Kamal Shaddad, who he said had put things upright in the SFA by seconding a qualified finance manager and an internal auditor from the Ministry of Finance.
“The FIFA assistance has raised the ceiling of our ambitions and has helped us walk on solid ground,” said Hemaidti.
Now the question: Will the FIFA support achieve the required jump in the Sudanese football? We hope so.
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