FIFA has been made to halt plans to continue funding football in North Korea through its Financial Assistance Program (FAP).
Speaking to Radio Free Asia, a FIFA spokesman said that sanctions in its home nation of Switzerland prevented any monetary transactions to the secretive state.
“Since FIFA is domiciled in Switzerland,” explained the spokesman, “sanctions of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), as well as the Swiss Federal Council are binding for FIFA.
“[North Korea] is currently subject to SECO and/or Swiss Federal Council sanctions. Due to these sanctions, we are currently unable to transfer any money to the [North Korea] Football Association.”
According to the FIFA website, the FAP’s mission is “to motivate and empower the associations and confederations to organise development programmes that meet their needs and strengthen football and its administration in the long term.” The money is distributed within associations through infrastructure, administration and the development of football in technical and youth improvement.
North Korea were expected to receive US$1.66 million in funding from the program, following the association’s request submission last year. The nation received just US$7,678 in funding last year from the program after receiving US$1 million across the three years prior.
Funding to North Korea has typically been spent on infrastructure, with the improvement of surfaces and training facilities, along with the establishment of the International Soccer School to train youth between the ages of six and 13, which opened in 2013.