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Coronavirus: It would be irresponsible to resume too early, says FIFA chief Infantino

By Dejan Kalinic
Gianni Infantino

Zurich, April 10: FIFA president Gianni Infantino said it would be "more than irresponsible" to restart competitions too early amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sport around the world has been brought to a standstill by COVID-19, which has killed more than 95,500 people globally.

The Bundesliga could restart in May as leagues start to plan and prepare for resumptions, but Infantino warned it would be dangerous to get going again too early.

"As our main priority, our principles, the ones we employ in our competitions and also we invite to everyone to follow, is health comes first," he said, via the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

Coronavirus: FIFA chief Infantino warns football will be 'different' upon return

"As much as I emphasise it, it is not enough. It’s not worth to put at risk any human life for any game, any competition, nor any league. Everyone should have this clear in their minds.

"It would be more than irresponsible to restart the competitions if the situation is not safe 100 per cent. If you must wait a bit more time, we must do it. It is better to wait a bit more than taking risks."

Many bodies and leagues around the world are set to face financial difficulties in the wake of COVID-19, particularly if games are cancelled or played behind closed doors.

FIFA is said to have a $2.7 billion cash reserve it is set to use to create an emergency fund and Infantino said the governing body was planning to help.

"Thanks to the work we have been doing together in FIFA during the last four years, we find ourselves in a very solid financial situation. FIFA have a good reputation in the financial markets," he said.

"It helps us to consolidate a solid base of important reserves, but our reserves are not FIFA's money, it is the money of football. So, when football is in need, we have to think about a solution to help. It is our responsibility. This is how I see it as president of FIFA.

"As football has stopped in the whole world, we are all facing economic issues in different levels, from the base to professional football. Given this, we are already collaborating with you to asses the financial impact to prepare the right answer."

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Story first published: Friday, April 10, 2020, 5:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 10, 2020
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