UEFA has released €236.5m to help its 55 member associations meet the challenges of COVID-19 in their respective countries.
This HatTrick funding is usually distributed to the national associations to cover running costs and to help develop specific and targeted areas of domestic football. However, UEFA has decided to allow each association to set its own priorities in light of the negative impact of the coronavirus on football at all levels.
Announcing the funding, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said:
“Our sport is facing an unprecedented challenge brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. UEFA wants to help its members to respond in ways that are appropriate to their specific circumstances. As a result, we have agreed that up to €4.3m per association, paid for the remainder of this season and next, as well as part of the investment funding, can be used as our members see fit to rebuild the football community.
“I believe this is a responsible decision to help as much as we can; and I am proud of the unity that football is showing throughout this crisis. Without doubt, football will be at the heart of life returning to normal. When that time comes, football must be ready to answer that call.”
UEFA’s HatTrick assistance programme is one of the largest solidarity and development programmes ever to be established by a sports organisation. It was launched in 2004 following the UEFA EURO that took place in Portugal. Based on the simple idea of investing a large proportion of the European championship revenue back into football development in three (hence its name) different ways: investment, education and knowledge-sharing. By 2024, the HatTrick programme will have made a remarkable €2.6 billion available to its member associations.