(CMR) All international football matches scheduled for June were postponed on Friday following the first meeting of FIFA's coronavirus working group. This decision came after the head of global soccer body FIFA Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic will change the face of success forever.
“Football will come back, and when it does, we'll celebrate coming out of a nightmare together … There is one lesson, however, that both you and me must have understood: the football that will come after the virus will be totally different…[more] inclusive, more social and more supportive, connected to the individual countries and at the same time more global, less arrogant and more welcoming.”
It was also decided to hold discussions with confederations to draw up a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers which have been shelved.
“The FIFA-Confederations working group… has unanimously approved a series of recommendations following its first meeting, which was organised via conference call today,” said a FIFA statement.
It was also decided by the group to postpone all planned women's internationals in June.
In the aftermath of the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics by a year, the FIFA group proposed keeping the age eligibility rule of players born on or after January 1, 1997 and three additional players.
“The FIFA-Confederations working group will continue to hold discussions on a regular basis as the situation evolves,” added the statement.
FIFA is also drawing up plans to tap its $2.7 billion cash reserve and create an emergency fund to support the ailing soccer industry. Several federations, clubs and leagues to declare themselves to be in a state of financial distress. The fund, should global soccer leaders sign off on it, would amount to the biggest response from any major sports governing body to the financial impact of the pandemic.