FIFA donates funds to disaster-hit Haiti and Chile

fifa_logoJOHANNESBURG - The Executive Committee of the Worlds soccer governing body FIFA, last week approved a special funding for the football associations of disaster-hit areas of Chile and Haiti, aimed at assisting in the reconstruction of their facilities.

The approval was made Friday, during a two-day meeting by the FIFA Executive Committee, which received reports on the preparations for the 60th FIFA Congress and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Impoverished Haiti was on January 12 hit by a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake and a series of over 52 aftershocks, which killed more than 230 000 people, injured over 300 000, displaced more than 1 million others and destroyed infrastructure.

On February 27, Chile was also hit by an earthquake rating a magnitude of 8.8, which triggered a tsunami that killed over 340 people and devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile.

To help in the rebuilding of soccer in the two countries, FIFA on Friday confirmed an allocation of US$3 million to a special projects fund for Haiti, to assist in the reconstruction of the football associations headquarters, technical centres and regional youth facilities. This was in addition to another US$250 000 that provided to the country as immediate emergency aid, shortly after the earthquake.

The executive also approved a decision from the Goal Bureau to allocate three Goal projects worth US$1.2 million to assist the Chilean Football Association in the reconstruction of the football facilities in Chile, said FIFA in a statement.

An immediate assistance fund of US$250,000 had already been provided by FIFA following the recent earthquake and tsunami in the South American country.

The Executive Committee also decided to lift the suspension on the Iraqi Football Association (IFA) for government interference on football, after noting that the National Olympic Committee of Iraq (NOCI) had withdrawn the dissolution of the IFA and that the IFA had had its full authority restored.

The Iraqi FA had been suspended in November 2009.

The FIFA executive also agreed to submit to the next FIFA Congress the expulsion of The Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (BAFA) if the BAFA has not been reinstated by then, after noting that no major progress had been made since the BAFA was suspended in September 2009.

Furthermore, reports were provided on the preparations for the 60th FIFA Congress and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which are said to be well on track. The executive decided to approve that single yellow cards will be deleted only once during the competition in South Africa, after the quarter-final stage.

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