FIFA will give Canada Soccer a lifeline by granting a $5 million interest-free loan. Canadian Soccer has been enduring a difficult financial situation as it incurred a deficit of 6.3 million CAD in 2022. A deficit will come at the end of 2023.

The Athletic has reported that Canada Soccer had applied for a $5 million interest-free loan earlier from FIFA. Interim General Secretary Jason de Vos confirmed that the organization has applied for the loan but it hasn’t been approved yet.

Earlier in July 2020, FIFA, as part of COVID-19 relief, launched a program making it available to every member association. As part of the initiative, any member association can ask for an interest-free loan amounting to 35% of their audited annual revenue.

However, in the interest of solidarity, a loan entitlement between $500,000 and $5 million was also made available.

Canada Soccer is is dire need of funds

Canada Soccer’s deficit is a result of their spending for the men’s national team’s surprising qualification for the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar. Earlier Canada Soccer had contemplated filing for bankruptcy.

De Vos claimed that the loan would help the federation in several aspects of its operation. If the loan comes through, it will help arranging friendlies during the international windows. The split between the men’s and women’s national teams remains undetermined.

FIFA’s investment is preventing future problems

The lack of finances had cast some doubt over the national team’s participation in friendlies.

As Canada is one of the host nations of the 2026 World Cup, the national side will be missing out on the qualification process.

That would have served as an ideal preparation for the showpiece tournament. Moreover, the 2024 Copa America qualification period will begin.

The loan would also help pay for training camps, and booking friendlies against opponents, which might not have been possible earlier. De Vos also claimed that the Federation is exploring opportunities with philanthropic organizations that could aid in travel accommodation and fees paid to the opposition teams.

Photo credit: IMAGO & Xinhua