Fifa president Gianni Infantino has urged the football community to use the “power of the game” to reinforce key messages in relation to coronavirus.
In a letter to Fifa’s members and stakeholders, seen by the BBC, Infantino has underlined the need to follow World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.
He also spoke of the challenges the game will face in recovering from a global crisis that, on Tuesday, is likely to see the European Championship postponed by Uefa.
In addition, the Copa America is unlikely to take place as planned, while leagues, plus international and domestic competitions across the world are either suspended or being played behind closed doors.
“We must now do everything in our power to protect fans, players, coaches, and everyone else involved in our beautiful game,” said Infantino. “Most importantly, the football authorities must take all necessary measures to prevent the virus spreading to the wider community.
“In partnership with the WHO, we are launching awareness building initiatives designed to provide practical recommendations and steps to tackle the spread of Covid-19.”
Infantino praised the football community for the solidarity and unity it has shown so far but warned this must continue “when thinking about how we will address the consequences we will have to face for the future of our game, once this serious risk to human health is behind us”.
The letter says Fifa will keep in touch with all relevant bodies and hopes “in due course” to find solutions to what Infantino terms as “a difficult period”.
“Health first and sporting solidarity should be the key principles guiding decision-making at this important moment in time and I am sure that the whole football community will live up to the great values of our sport,” he said.
“Sport in general and football, in particular, can – and I believe will – play a big part in helping our world recover once we have, hopefully sooner rather than later, returned to normality.
“Challenging circumstances offer the opportunity for people to come together, show what they can do in a collective spirit, and emerge stronger and better prepared for the future. We know that this is one of those moments.”
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