Fifa President Gianni Infantino did not rule out the possibility of international matches being postponed on Friday due to the spread of the new coronavirus.
“The health of people is much more important than any football match,” said Mr. Infantino upon his arrival in Belfast where the annual general meeting of the international body is to be held this weekend.
“This is why we have to look at the situation and hope that it will get better rather than worse,” said the leader. “For now, it looks like it will continue to increase. If the matches have to be postponed or played without spectators until everything is in order, then we will go there.”
All the matches of the Swiss championship, the country where the headquarters of Fifa is, planned this weekend have been postponed. The Swiss government, meeting in extraordinary session, prohibited until March 15 at least the holding of any public or private event bringing together more than 1,000 people.
In addition, five Serie A matches in Italy will be played behind closed doors this weekend, while the matches of the Japanese and South Korean championships were postponed earlier this week.
While hoping that next month’s international friendlies will take place well, Mr. Infantino added: “I’m not ruling anything out at the moment. I hope we don’t get there (a match postponement). And I think it will be difficult anyway to impose a global ban. “
As for the possibility of playing matches behind closed doors, the president of Fifa believes that “each competition organizer will have to decide what is good for him”. “In the short term, this can be a solution, but we cannot envisage a competition with several matches behind closed doors over several months.”
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