Coronavirus will not affect $1bn investment in women's game - Fifa

Danielle van der Donk of the Netherlands and USA's Rose Lavelle
The United States beat the Netherlands 2-0 in last year's World Cup final, held in France

Women’s football will still benefit from investment worth $1bn (£804m) despite the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, says Fifa.

Covid-19 has caused football across all levels to be halted in most of the world's countries.

But the funding for the women’s game, which covers 2019-2022 will not be cut.

A spokesperson for football's world governing body said: "This funding has already been committed by Fifa and will not be impacted by the current crisis."

The statement added: "This funding will be invested into a range of areas in the women's game including competitions, capacity building, development programmes, governance and leadership, professionalisation and technical programmes."

The package, announced last year, doubled Fifa’s investment and came from the association’s cash reserves.

The women’s game is enjoying a surge in popularity with last year’s Women’s World Cup watched by a record-breaking 1.12bn viewers.

Fifa also confirmed that the women's game would be part of any package to help the sport cope with losses incurred due to coronavirus.

"Women's football is being fully considered as part of this process in order to understand the various needs and impact on stakeholders within the women's game," the spokesperson added.

"Fifa is currently working on possibilities to provide assistance to the football community around the world, including women's football. The exact format and details of this assistance are currently being discussed in consultation with Fifa's member associations, the confederations and other stakeholders.

"As part of these discussions, Fifa is in close contact with key women's football stakeholders via the Professional Women's Football Task Force and the Fifa-Confederations sub-working group on the impacts of Covid-19."

Speaking to BBC World Service's Sportsworld on Saturday, former women's Ballon d'Or winner and 2019 BBC Women's Footballer of the Year Ada Hegerberg said: "Everything is so uncertain at the moment and we worry about our sport, especially as a women's player."

The 24-year-old Norwegian, who plays with French side Lyon , added: "I understand that the men's football is the top subject obviously, but you cannot forget the place of women's football in this.

"Hopefully everything will get back in place and women's football continues its development and we won't lose position. It is a difficult situation for all of us."