The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Saturday announced a COVID-19 relief grant to support the Category 1 and 2 active referees, and assistant referees who have been adversely affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant is a one-time financial assistance for match officials who are managed by the AIFF through their participation as officials in AIFF competitions.
The match officials eligible for the COVID-19 relief grant are those who do not have a permanent job or income aside from the match fee and allowances earned through officiating in football competitions as on June 2021.
"Under the assistance, 164 eligible match officials (Category 1 and 2) will be receiving a one-time financial assistance. The total outlay for this assistance is around Rs 25 lakh," AIFF said in a statement.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world especially the sports industry hard and the essential COVID safety protocols have resulted in lack of sporting activities barring a few major professional events.
"In our endeavour to move forward together, the AIFF understands that this has led to job and income loss for many who depend on these activities to earn their income. With the pandemic now extending beyond a year but with uncertainty still prevailing on when activities can start fully there are several people struggling financially," said Das.
"The AIFF would like to extend its support to as many people as possible who are associated with the sport."