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FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s message to the Member Associations, Health comes first

The President of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has delivered a strong message to all the 211 Member Associations across the world.

Through a video message published on the FIFA TV, Infantino talks about the challenging times brought about by the COVID-19, the brave approach about the pandemic, the gradual steps of having the game played by the individual member associations and FIFA’s measures as the beautiful game steadily returns to the scene.

Dear friends, I hope that you, your families and friends are safe, well and fine.

Even if we are distant, we remain one team and united we support those who have been suffering during this different time.

Following my last message, I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update concerning with the activities at FIFA, starting with the thanking the Bureau of the Council for its activities over the past few two months.

You have seen the medical recommendations we issued last week, to support the road map to the restart of competitions which always keep in mind the most important principle “Health comes first”.

Also, the possibility you have now to opt for five substitutions as the same purpose, protect the health in this case of our players in this case.

We need to maintain public health as the priority while not forgetting the well-being of the players, officials and everyone who participates in any football activity.

FIFA trusts the judgment that you, together with the Governments and health authorities of your countries have made or will make.

We hope that the WHO risk assessment tool and our guidelines can help you in deciding the best cause of action.

Football is already underway or about to restart in several countries. It gives us and all the football fans across the globe some hope for the future.

However, we also have to understand and respect the different decisions especially from those amongst us who still need more time to be sure that the restart can be done in a way that is safe for everyone.

Tolerance and understanding are important especially in these days. I suppose FIFA supports every one of you. There isn’t any one right answer to all the situations. Each country is different with different context and no one better than you knows the best way to deal with these enormous challenges.

And let us not forget that there is always need to be a place for fans. Football without spectators is clearly not the same. We need to be patient when considering the right time to bring back the fans back to the stadia. We will continue to work tirelessly but also discretely and respectfully to move beyond these temporary measures and to ensure that fans are welcomed back in a safe and responsible way.

Difference; this is a time to work together, to share experiences and to help one another.

Through this solidarity, the Bureau will also find the solutions to shape a better football for the future.

The need for top club football to resume has understandably taken priority, but we must we must also consider national teams, women football, lower tier domestic leagues and the grass-roots game. We have to show unity across all aspects of football and make sure football can resume in its globality. 

This is our priority and our financial relief plan will also follow this principle.

In a constructive spirit of concentration that seeks to benefit of all football, FIFA is working hard to present a positive solution to the FIFA Council in the coming weeks.

We are developing a system which is manageable but also on its best. We want the financial relief plan to have a broad reach that includes women’s football that operates in a modern efficient and transparent way. This means having a robust governance structure which ensures accountability on how the financial sums will be allocated.

On another very important topic namely the international match calendar, I am happy to report that we also made some good progress in consultation with different stake holders, we are closer to present the balanced solution that takes into account everyone’s challenges and needs.

I have mentioned consultations on several occasions and if we can take out one positive element from this situation, it is certainly that thanks to you and through FIFA, football has definitely created an active and healthy channel for dialogue and discussions on all aspects of our sport.

*Follow the Full FIFA President’s message on FIFA TV

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