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FIFA chief Infantino calls for associations 'not to panic' over coronavirus

  • The threat of coronavirus continues to play havoc with the sporting calendar, but FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for calm.
Modified 03 Mar 2020, 17:48 IST
gianni infantino - cropped
FIFA president Gianni Infantino

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged football organisations "not to panic" when it comes to taking measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Several sporting events have been postponed and the football calendar has also faced problems, with Serie A having called off several fixtures over the past two weekends.

The Swiss government issued a ban on events where more than 1,000 people were expected to be in attendance, with the country's Football Association postponing league matches until March 23.

Some Premier League clubs have banned handshakes at training grounds amid fears matches in England's top flight may be affected.

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.

"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," he said at the UEFA Congress in Amsterdam.

"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 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."

Published 03 Mar 2020, 17:48 IST
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