FIFA won’t stop funding to BFF: Murshedy

Bangladesh Football Federation senior vice-president and finance committee chairman Abdus Salam Murshedy on Tuesday said that FIFA will not stop funding to them.

“FIFA will not stop funding to the Bangladesh Football Federation. They never said to stop it; rather they have appreciated our account maintenance system for the last four years. FIFA instructed us to become more transparent, impartial and accountable regarding our financial activities,” Murshedy said in a press conference after completing a virtual meeting with FIFA higher officials.

“We use the ‘account pay system’ to pay 90–91 percent of our payments. The payments include staff salaries, foreign coaches’ and technical directors’ payments, administrative expenditure, referees’ payments even we provide money for different development programmes in districts and divisions, educational institutions, professional and championship leagues through the account payment system,” he added. 

Bangladesh Football Federation, a part of the governing body of world football, gets USD 4 lakh from FIFA every year as financial support. But, FIFA on March 30 sent some instructions to BFF regarding funding issues.

Though the federation didn’t disclose the subject of the letter, some sources claimed that FIFA raised questions on BFF’s money management and finance committee. However, BFF sat in a virtual meeting with the governing body of world football on Tuesday to clarify the matter and to know their further instructions.

Officials from the FIFA Members Association Department, FIFA Finance and Compliance Department, BFF senior vice-president and finance committee chairman Abdus Salam Murshedy Murshedy, general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag, finance committee members and other officials were present there.

“The letter was a part of the regular correspondence of FIFA with us. The meeting was good. FIFA suggested us to be more transparent in the procurement procedures. They tell us to buy air tickets, sports equipment etc from at least three vendors. Besides, they told us to formulate a written policy on our purchase policy, tendering method and payment procedure which will help us to fund under the FIFA Forward Project,” the BFF senior vice-president added.

Murshedy further said that they told FIFA to appoint a consultant for monitoring their audit reports and transparency and activities regarding the finance.

“Financial matters are always sensitive issues. In the last four years, I have tried to pay that each and every payment through the ‘account pay system’. It wastes too much time and a tough job also, but it makes us more transparent. My personal opinion was to appoint a consultant for monitoring their audit reports, transparency and activities regarding the finance,” he added. 

BFF has yet to get the COVID-19 relief fund from FIFA which was announced last June. While asking about it, the BFF finance committee chairman said: “We got a chance to sit with FIFA higher officials today. We told them about the COVID-19 fund and requested them to release the fund as soon as possible.”

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