ZURICH (AFP) – FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that “no match” is worth “risking a single human life” and that world football’s governing body would financially help national federations during the coronavirus pandemic.
The majority of top football leagues and international competitions have been suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Infantino insisted that games would not resume until it was safe.
“Our first priority, our principle, the one we will use for our competitions and encourage everyone to follow is that health comes first,” he said in a video message.
“I cannot stress this enough. No match, no competition, no league is worth risking a single human life.”
The German Bundesliga reportedly could restart behind closed doors in May, with players already back in training, while other leagues could also resume in the summer.
“It would be more than irresponsible to force competitions to resume if things are not 100 per cent safe,” added Infantino.
“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 said that national football associations which are struggling financially would receive help from FIFA’s emergency relief fund.
“We are today in a very strong financial situation,” Infantino said. “But our reserves are not FIFA’s money. It is football’s money. So when football is in need, we must think what we can do to help… It is our responsibility and our duty.”