FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes the global coronavirus crisis could bring about a reform of football which he does not expect to return to action by May.
Infantino: “Without panic, let’s face it, we will play when we can without endangering anyone’s health,”
“Health first. Then everything else. And the rest, for managers, means hoping for the best but also preparing for the worst.”
World football has been thrown into turmoil by the pandemic which has killed 15,000 and confined more than a billion people at their homes.
The Euro 2020 and Copa America tournaments have already been pushed back while uncertainty remains over the inaugural 24-team Club World Cup from 2021.
“We need an assessment of the global economic impact,” the 50-year-old Swiss told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“We don’t know when things will return to normal.”
“But let’s look at the opportunities. We can perhaps reform world football by taking a step back. With different formats. Fewer tournaments, maybe fewer teams, but more balanced.”
“Fewer games to protect the health of the players.”
“It’s not science fiction, let’s talk about it. Let’s quantify the damage, see how to cover it, make sacrifices and let’s start again“.
“Not from scratch. But let’s all save football together from a crisis that risks being irreversible.”
Infantino revealed he was working on temporary derogations on footballers’ contracts to avoid the June 30 deadline.