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Health must come first, then everything else – FIFA chief

The president of world football’s governing body, FIFA, Gianni Infantino has spoken on a range of topics related to the current crisis football is facing as a result of the ongoing global Coronavirus pandemic.

“Health must come first and then everything else. Club management should be hoping for the best but also preparing for the worst,” he started an interview which appeared in today’s print edition of Milan based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Without panicking, let me be clear, we will play again when we can, without putting anybody’s health at risk. Federations and leagues are ready to follow the recommendations of governments and the World Health Organisation.

“I wish to thank all doctors, nurses and all those who are risking their lives to save others, they are heroes.”

He was then asked what FIFA can do during this crisis period.

“We have shown a spirit of cooperation and solidarity with Europe and South America. Now let’s think about the national team schedule and about the temporary modifications and dispensations for the regulations on the status of players and transfers to protect contracts and adapt registration periods. Tough measures are needed but there is no choice. We will all have to make sacrifices.”

Infantino then went on to insist he is ready to help out as and when required.

“In such situations, health is the top priority and exceptional measures are needed. I am and will always be ready to help those in need. I have said this to Ceferin on the telephone.”

He then spoke on the financial impact that the virus has and will continue to have on football across the globe and whether it could lead to reform in football.

“We do not know when it returns to normal but we look at the opportunities. We can perhaps reform world football by taking a step back, with different formats and less tournaments but more interesting. Maybe fewer teams, but more balanced. Less games to protect the health of the players, but more hard-fought.

“It’s not science fiction, let’s talk about it. We quantify the damages, let’s see how to cover them, we make sacrifices. Let’s all save football together from a crisis that risks being irreversible.”

He was then asked if it was possible that the Serie A title may not be assigned whatsoever.

“It would not be correct for me to say something as it is not a FIFA decision. If asked, I will give my opinion but football, and the Scudetto, do not seem to me to be the most important things now.”

In conclusion he spoke on how this Serie A season has went and praised several clubs in the process, including Inter, who he supports.


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