FIFA recommends to have no international matches in March, April

Coronavirus,FIFA International Matches,International football matches,FIFA ,Sports Business News

FIFA has recommended that all international football matches scheduled for March and April be postponed due to the spread of the new coronavirus.

Falling short of banning matches outright, world football’s governing body said that clubs would be allowed to refuse to send their players to national squad gatherings in March and April.

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FIFA also said that it was working on rescheduling qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup in both Asia and South America which have been postponed.

“All international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment,” FIFA said in a Press release.

FIFA added that the “final decision” on any postponements “rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies”.

FIFA rules normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches, but this rule has been temporarily reversed.

“In light of the current situation concerning the Coronavirus, FIFA has decided that general football rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply for the up-coming international windows in March/April,” the statement said.

FIFA ADVISORY

In light of the current situation concerning the Coronavirus, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided that the general football rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply for the up-coming international windows in March/April.

The situation is rapidly evolving across the world and various international travel restrictions have already been imposed by different public authorities.

FIFA proposes postponing upcoming World Cup qualifiers owing to coronavirus

FIFA understands that to hold the matches under current circumstances might not only present potential health risks to players (and to the general public) but would also, most likely, compromise the sporting integrity of such matches insofar as certain teams may be deprived of their best squads whilst others may not.

To avoid any unnecessary health risks and also situations of potential sporting unfairness, we therefore recommend that all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment, both for players and for the general public. The final decision on this issue rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies.

The qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup in both Asia and South America have already been postponed following consultation between FIFA and the confederations concerned.

In consultation with the confederations and relevant stakeholders, FIFA will be studying the possibilities for re-scheduling any postponed matches and is confident that with goodwill and flexibility from all sides, appropriate solutions will be found to allow the matches to take place in due course and with minimal disruption.

We are working in close cooperation with relevant national and international public health authorities (most notably the World Health Organisation) and, taking into account the expert advice that we have received on the matter, we consider this measure and recommendation to be the most appropriate and responsible step to take under the current circumstances.

Also Read: FIFA proposes postponing upcoming World Cup qualifiers owing to coronavirus