In a video message specially sent to the 211 member associations of FIFA and shared with the members of the FIFA Council, FIFA President Gianni Infantino defined three immediate priorities for FIFA to support football during the coronavirus crisis and beyond. The FIFA President recalled, in order of priority, that health comes first. FIFA stands ready to actively assist football in these exceptional circumstances and is currently conducting a series of consultations to reflect on the development of the sport.
“Our basic principle, which we will apply to our competitions and which we encourage you to follow is simple, health first and foremost,” said the FIFA President. “I cannot overemphasize this point. No match, no competition, no championship deserves to be sacrificed for even a lifetime. Wherever you are, this must be perfectly clear in your mind. “It would be totally irresponsible to resume competitions if the situation is not 100% secure. If we have to wait more, we will do it. Better wait than take the slightest risk.”
Gianni Infantino also welcomed the active participation of member associations in the dissemination of health messages, which they did not hesitate to share with their respective communities during this troubled period. “We are touching the very essence of football and team spirit. Now we have to continue on this path!”
“With regard to the emergency aid fund … thanks to the work carried out internally at FIFA over the past four years, our financial situation is very solid,” said the FIFA President. “FIFA has a good reputation in the financial markets, which has allowed us to consolidate healthy foundations by building up large reserves. But these reserves do not belong to us. This money is the money of the football. When football is bad, we have to think about what we can do for it … It’s our responsibility and our duty. “
The FIFA President said a series of consultations were underway to assess the financial impact for football and prepare an appropriate response, using a fund with an independent governance structure. “You should know that we will not abandon you and that we will find solutions together. You will never be alone … Everyone will know where the money is going. And, above all, you will know why this money is allocated here and there.”
To deal with the most urgent financial problems, the FIFA President has decided, subject to the agreement of the committee concerned, to advance the payment of the second part of the operational costs of the associations members of the FIFA Forward program, which is planned for the second semester. Gianni Infantino also requested, given the exceptional circumstances, the removal of the additional criteria for obtaining all payments in 2019 and 2020.
“If football manages to set up a conversation in which everyone makes a positive contribution and manages to place the general interest above the particular interest, I am convinced that the future can be better than the past because we will be better prepared to face the next deadlines, “said the FIFA President.
Gianni Infantino thanked the members of the FIFA Council Bureau and the presidents of all the confederations for the unity and solidarity they have shown during this difficult time. According to him, this attitude should allow football to project beyond the current crisis. Resolutely forward-looking, the FIFA President insisted on the need to find the right balance between protecting national teams and that of clubs, especially in the framework of the international match calendar. When it comes to player contracts and the legal aspect of transfer periods, flexibility and common sense should prevail. Finally, analyzes will be necessary to help member associations through the emergency aid fund.
While traditional consultative processes had to be interrupted due to travel restrictions imposed by the current crisis, the FIFA President asked member associations to “work with available technology to dialogue more, to talk about the common challenges that [nous aurons] to pick up and think about the future. “
“I am convinced that football will play an important role in helping people to get together once we can play safe again and rub shoulders with our families and friends in large groups. Let’s prepare for this moment … FIFA is with you in these difficult times and together we will win! “
Click here to view the full video message.