March 17 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged football authorities worldwide to show responsibility in the wake of Covid-19.
FIFA is urging all member federations to publicise the World Health Organisation’s preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
“Under these circumstances, we must now do everything in our power to protect fans, players, coaches, and everyone else involved in our beautiful game,” said Infantino.
“Most importantly, the football authorities must take all necessary measures to prevent the virus spreading to the wider community.”
Infantino said FIFA will increase awareness to help re-inforce World Health Organisation guidelines about hand-washing, avoiding close contact and staying at home when showing symptoms of the virus.
“In partnership with the WHO, we are launching awareness building initiatives designed to provide practical recommendations and steps to tackle the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
“I highly recommend you to also at your level use the power of football to send out and spread these key messages.”
More significantly perhaps will be Infantino’s response to any move by UEFA to delay Euro 2020.
Should the pan-continental Euros be moved to 2021 it could come into conflict with FIFA’s plans for an expanded Club World Cup involving the world’s leading club sides.
“Thus far, the world football community has shown a sense of solidarity and unity in the face of this threat and we should continue to do the same when thinking about how we will address the consequences we will have to face for the future of our game, once this serious risk to human health is behind us,” said Infantino somewhat cryptically.
“FIFA will keep in regular contact with all relevant stakeholders during this difficult period and look to find in due course solutions in a spirit of cooperation, taking into account the interests of football at all levels.”
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