March 19 – As expected FIFA has confirmed the postponement of Gianni Infantino’s much-trumpeted revamped Club World Cup but hasn’t decided when to play the tournament instead of next year.
Infantino had earlier suggested his pet project could be held “later in 2021, in 2022 or in 2023 to save clashing with the European Championships and Copa America, both of which have been pushed 12 months because of the coronavirus.
But instead, following a video conference meeting of the FIFA bureau –Infantino and the heads of the six regional confederations – FIFA said that it would simply “decide at a later stage” when to stage the new-look 24-team competition that had been scheduled for June and July, 2021, across eight Chinese cities.
FIFA also said it was taking a series of “exceptional measures” to keep football alive including a donation of $10 million to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
A working group has also been set up to consider possible changes to transfer regulations amid fears that players whose contracts end during the enforced stoppage could lose their jobs.
FIFA said it wanted to “protect contracts for both players and clubs and adjusting player registration periods.”
“This exceptional situation requires exceptional measures and decisions,” said Infantino. “FIFA will keep in close contact with all stakeholders to assess and take the necessary steps to deal with the variety of issues we are facing. I count on the support of the whole football community moving forward.”
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