Development & Alumni Relations Office 

FIFA COVID-19 FUNDING FOR QUEEN’S SOCCER CLUB  Queen's footballers compete at the Dub

06 November 2020

Queen’s Association Football Club (AFC) has received support from FIFA’s Covid-19 Relief Funding programme which will enable the delivery of competitive football and mitigate the spread of Covid-19 amongst players, staff, fans and the wider community. 

The funding from football’s world governing body FIFA (the Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is aimed at helping clubs meet some of the costs associated with the impact of the ongoing pandemic.

It was redistributed by the Irish Football Association (IFA) to senior and intermediate clubs across Northern Ireland affected by Covid-19, following a detailed process which closed to applications at the end of September.

The funding (£7,500) will enable the Queen’s club (which won the Irish FA Intermediate Cup in 2018) to provide a safe environment for players, teams and spectators, with enhanced hygiene facilities – including keeping facilities and equipment clean – temperature checking, tracing and social distancing, all of which has created an additional financial burden on the club. 

It will also enhance communications with all stakeholders to ensure that the risks are known, appreciated and effectively managed.  

Ruairi Taylor, Queen’s Soccer Development Manager, said:

"The distribution of the FIFA COVID-19 relief funds is greatly appreciated. All of the staff at the University have worked tirelessly to make Queen's Sport a safe venue for players, staff and spectators.

“These funds have significantly contributed towards these costs and have allowed us to continue our preparations for the season ahead.”

Dealing with the impact of the pandemic throughout the football season meant that normal operating protocols in relation to player facilities, grounds and pitches at Queen’s Sport Upper Malone facility – which is shared with other sports – were no longer be adequate.

Established in 1910, Queen’s is a founder member of the Irish League B Division. The Club plays home matches at the state-of-art stadium at the Dub. Queen’s allows for a 25% non-association with regards to playing staff whilst the other 75% are required to have studied, or be studying at the University. It has won the Collingwood Cup (the Irish universities trophy) on several occasions.

The FIFA support scheme does not, however, cover activities or costs which are already covered by or claimed from other government funding/funding providers including rates, player and staff wages/expenses, capital works programmes, funding shortfalls or new activities and events.

A unique characteristic of the Club is the support it draws on from Queen’s graduates and friends. Commenting on the importance of this backing, which includes funding for Queen’s Soccer Academy (one of five sporting academies at the University), Ruairi Taylor added: "Apart from the added costs, we expect to face a loss of revenue as numbers at games will be restricted. 

“Queen’s AFC has a great support base of friends, alumni and former players.

“I would encourage them to visit the new web pages we have developed and to take the opportunity to support the club as we face one our most uncertain seasons."

Visit for more on Queen’s University Football Club and the Queen’s Soccer Academy. If you would like to support the Academy contact Paddy Gilmore, telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5039 or visit the Academies pages on the Queen’s Foundation website.

For general enquiries about this story, or to submit graduate news items, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen's University Belfast or telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

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