Samoan football can access COVID-19 assistance

The Football Federation of Samoa (F.F.S.) can apply for up to T$82,000 in funding from the Oceania Football Confederation (O.F.C.) to help reduce the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The O.F.C. Solidarity Fund was developed to help all 11 member associations with food and hygiene packets, loss of income, medical allowances and self-isolation costs, the regional body said in a release.

Countries directly affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold will receive assistance from the grant as well, which is provided under O.F.C.’s FIFA Forward funding; the global federation’s worldwide development programme which provides financial support to confederations like the O.F.C. and member associations like F.F.S.

“I believe O.F.C. has a duty and responsibility to reach out and assist the needs of the football family across our region affected by the current health crisis,” O.F.C. President Lambert Maltock said in the statement.

O.F.C. General Secretary Franck Castillo said the Solidarity Fund should help address their key priority; the health and safety of the wider football community.

“We understand that each Member Association will face their own unique challenges and we want to do everything necessary to provide them with support,” he said.

F.F.S. and all other O.F.C. Member Associations are closed due to lockdown measures around the region, with many staff members working from home.

All O.F.C. competitions, workshops and other football activities in the region are suspended through May 6th, and Castillo said the confederation is speaking regularly with football stakeholders about when the sport can resume.

“We believe that safety should be the most important factor when we make future decisions regarding any postponed OFC tournaments,” he said.

“While we all want the game to return soon, we must not put anybody in danger to play football matches.”

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