Fifa speaks on football restart
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has said restarting football too early would be “irresponsible”. Infantino said no match, no competition, no league was worth risking a single human life.
He added that it was better to wait a little bit longer than to take risks.
Most domestic leagues around the world are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic while major tournaments such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America have been postponed for one year.
The Fifa president has also outlined his three immediate priorities for Fifa to support football during and beyond the coronavirus in a video message specifically addressed to the 211 Fifa member associations and shared with members of the Fifa Council.
The Fifa president reiterated, in order of priority, that health comes first, that Fifa is ready to pro-actively help football through these exceptional circumstances, and that an ongoing consultation process is taking place to consider the future evolution of the sport.
“Our first priority, our principle, the one we will use for our competitions and encourage everyone to follow is that health comes first. I cannot stress this enough.
No match, no competition, no league is worth risking a single human life. Everyone in the world should have this very clear in their mind. It would be more than irresponsible to force competitions to resume if things are not 100% safe.
If we have to wait a little longer we must do so. It’s better to wait a little bit longer than to take any risks.”
Infantino praised the member associations’ pro-active involvement in using football to pass important health messaging and sharing in their respective communities at this difficult time.
The Fifa president stated that a consultation process was underway to assess the financial impact across football in order to prepare the right response based around a fund with an independent governance structure.
“You have to know that we will be there and we will find solutions together. You will never be alone . . . (and) the world will know where the money goes and, equally important, why the money goes there.”
But in order to alleviate immediate financial problems, the Fifa president stated that, subject to relevant committee approval, the second part of member association operational costs from the Fifa Forward Programme due later this year be paid in advance.
Infantino added that, given the exceptional circumstances, he has requested that the requirement for the fulfillment of the additional criteria be waived for both 2019 and 2020 in order for the full amount to be paid to all member associations.
Although traditional consultation processes have been halted due to the travel restrictions that have been imposed in relation to the coronavirus, the Fifa president requested member associations “to work with the technology available to engage more, to talk about the common challenges that lie ahead, and to think about the future”.
Source – Sunday News
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