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FIFA creates fund to help players not paid by clubs

Italian Football Federation Elective Assembly

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 22: FIFA President Gianni Infantino attends the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) elective assembly on October 22, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)

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ZURICH -- FIFA is setting aside $16 million to help players who have not been paid by their clubs.

The funding covers the period up to 2022, and FIFA also wants to set up a monitoring committee with global players’ union FIFPro, which assesses the needs of players.

The fund will offer a “safety net” rather than playing players in full, FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the governing body wanted to show its “commitment to helping players in a difficult situation.”

FIFA has budgeted for $3 million for the second half of this year and $4 million in both 2021 and 2022. There is also $5 million available to deal with cases of salaries going unpaid from July 2015 to June 2020.

“More than 50 clubs in 20 countries have shut in the last five years, plunging hundreds of footballers into uncertainty and hardship,” FIFPro president Philippe Piat said. “This fund will provide valuable support to those players and families most in need. Many of these clubs have shut to avoid paying outstanding wages, immediately re-forming as so-called new clubs.”