KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: European federation UEFA has released €236.5m to help its 55 member associations meet the challenges raised by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA’s HatTrick funding is usually distributed to the national associations to cover running costs and to help develop mutually-agreed specific areas of domestic football. However, the executive committee has decided to allow each association to gauge its own priorities.

President Aleksander Čeferin said: “Our sport is facing an unprecedented challenge. 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.

“Football will be at the heart of life returning to normal. When that time comes, football must be ready to answer that call. “

The HatTrick assistance programme is one of the largest solidarity and development programmes established by a sports organisation.

It was launched in 2004 after the Euro finals in Portugal. The name derives from the system of development funding in three different ways: investment, education and knowledge-sharing.

By 2024, the HatTrick programme will have made €2.6bn available to member associations.