Due to fears over spreading COVID-19, a multitude of sporting events have been postponed but the FIFA head and supremo, Gianni Infantino has called for calm. FIFA president re-iterated that the measures have been taken by the football body and has asked them not to panic amid the growing fears.
The coronavirus has an outbreak on a serious scale with more than 3000 people being dead. Apart from that, more than 35000 people are tested positive for the infection. Also, the virus has spread over 55 countries which started in Wuhan, China.
With the Italian league, Serie A have canceled and postponed the fixtures over the last two weekends, multiple sports leagues are also changing their game schedule who has also faced problems.
The Swiss government has issued an interim regarding the ban of events, where more than 1000 people are expected to be in attendance. Also, the country’s Football Association postponed until the 23rd of March.
Amid fears matches in England‘s top-flight may be affected, some Premier League clubs like Newcastle United have banned handshakes at training grounds.
Infantino, who last week admitted international matches scheduled to take place this month could be postponed as the outbreak continues to escalate, called for a considered approach to tackle the problem.
He said at the UEFA Congress in Amsterdam,
“Some of you have had to take important decisions in this respect. Every competition organiser has to study it of course and has to take decisions,” “It is important to consider all the information from the authorities, but it’s also important not to panic.
“Those who have to take decisions, like what happened in Switzerland, will take decisions and then be able to move forward.
“Someone said to me football can be an antidote to coronavirus. I wouldn’t go that far, but sometimes football is an antidote to many other illnesses like discrimination and racism, and this is a fight we need to fight all together.”
With play-offs for the tournament taking place in two weeks, one particularly problematic area for UEFA is the staging of Euro 2020 over 12 countries. General secretary of UEFA Theodore Theodorakis said:
“We are taking contact with the World Health Organisation and the different governments. We have to deal with it on a case by case situation. We do not want to overreact but we have created a line of contact.
“We have also had a meeting with the European Leagues [association] to create a coordinating group to find the best possible solutions. The calendar is already congested so working together is where we want to find the solutions.
“There are also different scenarios for the more urgent matches in two weeks’ time.”
The chief of European Football, Aleksander Ceferin, was very optimistic about the measures taken by the football body to tackle the pandemic coronavirus issue. Talking to the Congress, he said:
“We have security concerns, political instability concerns and one of the concerns is the virus. We are dealing with it and we are confident we can deal with it.
“Let’s try to be optimistic and not think about dark scenarios. There’s time for that later.”
Switzerland football federation president, Dominique Blanc was very skeptical about the things shaking up the professional football foundation. He said:
“We are facing a situation which could shake professional football to its foundations. So, unfortunately, we will not be able to avoid scheduling postponed matches at the same time as UEFA club competitions,”
“If the situation persists we will not be able to avoid talking to UEFA about financial aid. It’s a worst-case scenario but it cannot be dismissed out of hand.”