‘Football can play a big part in helping our world recover’ – FIFA president Infantino embraces sporting solidarity

World football’s governing body is looking to remain “calm and assured” amid the Covid-19 outbreak and is ready for the rebuilding process

FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes football will “play a big part in helping our world recover” from the coronavirus pandemic which continues to sweep the planet.

As things stand, competitive action has been shut down indefinitely in a bid to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Authorities have acted quickly on the advice of government and medical officials, with fixture lists postponed until such as time as it is possible to bring players and supporters back together.

Infantino has hailed the “solidarity” shown within sporting circles, with FIFA working in partnership with the World Health Organisation to try and tackle the threat posed by a serious illness.

“We must do everything in our power to protect fans, players, coaches, and everyone else involved in our beautiful game,” Infantino said in a letter sent to every confederation and league.

“Most importantly, the football authorities must take all necessary measures to prevent the virus spreading to the wider community.

“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.

“It goes without saying that we all have to take this matter very seriously while, at the same time, remaining calm and assured in both our response and our decision making.“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.

“Health first and sporting solidarity should be the key principles guiding decision-making at this important moment in time and I am sure that the whole football community will live up to the great values of our sport.”

On the role that sport will have to play in bringing a sense of normality back to the world once coronavirus fears ease, Infantino added: “Let’s also bear in mind that sport in general and football, in particular, can – and I believe will – play a big part in helping our world recover once we have, hopefully sooner rather than later, returned to normality.

“Challenging circumstances offer the opportunity for people to come together, show what they can do in a collective spirit, and emerge stronger and better prepared for the future. We know that this is one of those moments.”